Hello, my friends!! So glad to be home. I just returned from a rather unplanned trip to New Hampshire this week.It is normally pretty difficult to get away from this farm in the height of the growing season when everything needs so much attention but, truth be told, when the Boy got a recruitment call from the general manager of the New Hampshire Junior Monarchs hockey team, I had no choice but to drop everything and go. Quite a change of plans, considering he was all set to start community college here in just a few weeks. So, without much planning, suddenly the Boy and I were setting out on an 400 mile adventure in a pick up truck loaded with maps, music and hockey gear heading north to meet his destiny.
We drove straight to laid-back Brattleboro, VT on Monday (my own personal side detour-I love it there) and headed directly to Brattleboro foods co-op to pick up some AMAZING road food. It's not too often that you can say that! This co-op was the first of it's kind in the country, so after 30+ years of fine tuning, they have it down perfect. The buy-local, the recycling, the volunteers, the FOOD! Great place to hang for a few hours. We next jumped onto RT 9 to drive due east through the wilds of New Hampshire. At this point the bulk of the trip was over and my map-tending co-pilot took a snooze beside me. With busy highways behind us and good food to sustain us, it was smooth sailing for the next hour and a half through the mountains to Manchester. After 7 hours of white-knuckle driving, I finally felt relaxed enough to look around at the plant life along the way. The scent of sweet fern, pine, spruce and fir through the open windows was breathtaking.I guess it was that remote drive through the beautiful scenery and mountain air with a sleeping boy-man by my side, that caused the slow avalanche of emotions that followed: The subtle fears of the unknown began to unfurl, the protective motherly instincts vs. the need to let go of the large sleeping man-body curled like a baby with more fragrant hockey gear packed than clothes to wear. I wondered whose fears or excitement were greater...his or mine. When I suddenly came upon a natural stream widening into a small pond covered with thousands of white pond lilies sparkling in the sunlight, I began to weep. When I saw a moose crossing sign, I laughed out loud. When I witnessed enormous marshmallow thunder heads alongside a rainbow and blue sky, I wept again. The visual beauty of the mountains combined with the olfactory sensations simultaneously opened and soothed this grieving momma's heart. It became apparent that at the end of this road stretched out before us, my sleeping boy-man was going to wake up and shake hands with his destiny and with stars in his eyes, begin the subtle transition into manhood. And so it happened. The next few days were a whirlwind of tryouts, phone calls, meetings and paperwork. Next, college testing, transfers and class registrations were put into place. Mapping out the lay of the land between the campus, the rink and his new host family's home was another hurdle. A new job at the rink is in the works. At the end of each day, the hotel beds offered two welcomed, multi-pillowed, queen sized crashes. After three days in Manchester and the last hand shake, a formal contract was presented and we headed for home. My boy will be returning to New Hampshire for the year in just two weeks.
On the drive home, our reactions to this new chapter unfolding in our lives were quite distinct. He fell easily into a deep sleep. I, on the other hand, stayed focused and gripped the wheel, maneuvering through many hours of torrential rain and stormy weather- not unlike the swirling lists in my head of all the things that needed to be planned and accomplished in the next fourteen days. Hmmm, therein may lie the difference between the child and the adult. The illusion of 'our plan' and the 'planning' of it.
At a street light, I paused to look at my son and the innocence of his sleeping youth, so trusting that someone who loves him will carry him safely home while he sleeps. He will be waking soon, I can see, into a world where he will need to be at the wheel, steering his life for himself. Part of me wanted to shake him and wake him, to be present and share this treacherous, demanding drive with me with one last chance to teach him all I know amidst brainstorming and list-making. Another part of me wanted to let him sleep, safe and sound under my wing through the violent storms. It could be the last time I am given a choice and I choose the latter. This part of our adventure ended back in PA well after dark. We arrived home hungry and more than ready to fall into our own familiar beds. It was time well spent, but I have missed my gardens and have many orders and responsibilities piling up around me, awaiting my return. I have few photos to share of the trip. We didn't have much time in the schedule for blogging detours. It was a direct date with destiny. I hope to return to a regular blogging schedule now, but with only two weeks until the babe flies the nest, I may be a little distracted. Thanks for being there while I am...