It's nearly 12:30a.m. and my Matthew is heading out at 4a.m. I dread waking easy child to say her goodbyes, she cried herself to sleep as it is but insisted he must wake her to say goodbye when he leaves. She'll never forgive me if I don't. Matt's new g/f has driven 13 hours today and is now halfway to the halfway point (she is driving half distance from there to here while he takes a bus to meet her there). She has another 13-14 hours in the morning, she is now safely in her hotel for the night to get some rest. She texted him messages all day with pictures of the trip and making sure he knew she was safe driving. I thought it was kind of sweet. She is so excited to pick him up and they have a week of traveling planned with stops in Calgary to go to the zoo and to the West Edmonton Mall among other things. Matt will be on the greyhound for 29 hours to arrive in Winnipeg. We have packed his luggage and it is all by the door. He's talking on the phone to his g/f now that she's at the hotel. We are going to take a late night walk to a nearby store for snacks for his carry on bag before coming back to just sit quiet and talk for a while until I must put him in a taxi to the bus station. I truly am absolutely proud of my young man and I'm rooting for him that this turns into the experience he so hopes it will be. I am equally as sad and already I miss him. His bed is stripped, his closet bare, everything personal in his room is gone. His toiletries aren't on the vanity in the bathroom and his shoes aren't cluttering the entryway. There is no Coke in the house which we can NOT run out of with Matt around since he must have at least 2 cans a day. It already feels strange. Shopped for weekend groceries and so many things that were weekend must buys, were not purchased. It is so strange. I think the part of him moving out isn't what makes it so hard. It is the fact it is a 4 day drive, 12-16 hours per day, to where he is going to be living. It isn't like we'll have frequent visits. I could handle that if he was older, but for his time leaving home it seems so remote as if its another planet. Simply said, I want so much for him to find his place and happiness so I support him fully in this choice. Yet the selfish mom in me is lonesome already. Life before Matt was my OWN childhood. I went from child to mother which means I've never known a adult time without him here. Nobody makes me laugh like he does, nobody else sits and talks to me for hours about politics and world religions and sociology and historical things. We share those things in common as interests to where we can talk and talk and talk and it is never repetitive and always interesting. We have had morning coffee alone together every morning for 2 years. We haven't watched our last boxed set season of Heroes and we only ever watched it together. He named is stupid cat Kobe after his fav. basketball player. I hate the name and he laughed in a few years about taking the cat to his own place so I had no say in the name (this was a birthday gift 3 years ago when he got this cat). The stupid cat not only is remaining here for me for the rest of its natural life, I'm stuck with the name Kobe so everytime I talk to the fuzz butt (okay he's not stupid, we love him) I will be reminded of Matt when I call him by that ridiculous name. I snuck a box of condoms into his bag with a note saying "Don't hate me, this box sure beats THE DREADED T-A-L-K! Love ya, Mom PS. USE THEM!!!". I know he will laugh, but I know he'll know I mean it and will follow through. I put money into his bank account which I'm sure he'll notice sooner or later. I haven't cried in front of him and have smiled and chatted about all his excitements. The 4 of us went to a very nice restaurant for "the last supper" as we named it and we toasted him. The very second that taxi leaves I'm going to be a mess. I bought 2 boxes of kleenex while out today. He needs this, has earned it and deserves the chance and the support and will 100% receive it. I won't let him see how hard this is. But all bets are off when the tail lights disappear up the road. I can't believe I have been here since I was struggling to get him to tie his shoes and here I am crying over him leaving the nest. I will try extra hard this weekend to focus on the fact that he has no criminal record, does not drink nor does he do drugs, he is motivated to work and be proud of himself and to achieve something for himself. He would starve before taking welfare while he knows he can work. He is respectful and polite and dresses like a young man who has pride in himself. He now laughs easily, his eyes dance when he talks about things he is passionate about. He can accept praise now and feel self pride. He values us as his family in a way he never could have when I joined here. He expresses love openly to us and accepts it in return. He is far from perfect but all of us are. The things that count, he has them in spades. I know in my gut that this is more than I had ever hoped for, I know that this is more than so many get to see with their kids, I know that I can feel proud and I love that he can feel proud. All of that makes his leaving so far away hurt so much more, makes the loss so much greater. I may start accepting donation of air miles from inspired folks!