A Soggy Message

A little over a year ago we dropped our son off at the train station for his return trip to college after winter break.

When I came back home I discovered my son had left dozens of sweet notes behind for me to find. They were in the cabinets, drawers and even the coffee machine. They contained sentiments like “I love you” and “You look beautiful.”

I came upon one of those notes the following morning when I went to take my bath. Directly above the tub, stuck to the tile ceiling, was a sky-blue sticky note with the message, “I miss you.”

That blue sticky note has remained on the tile ceiling above my tub since then. I clean around it. I’ve re-taped it often. It’s certainly the worse for wear.

So today I decided I would take that note down from the ceiling. It was time to tuck it away in the envelope where I’d saved all those other loving notes I’d found.

But first I took a photo so I wouldn’t forget the sweet message on the ceiling, and how happy those notes made me as I found them, one by one, in the days and weeks after he left.

And then, unbelievably, not 2 seconds after I took that photo, the note fell into the tub where I was taking my bath.

I’m not an overly superstitious person. But I do believe in signs. I just can’t help but think there had to be some other forces at work here, some lesson meant to be learned.

This, I think, is the message in that soggy note:

It’s ok to miss my son. Missing him is my heart’s testament to how much I love him, to how much I love mothering him. It’s hard to watch our kids grow up, go away, need us less.

But as that note floated in the bath water I realized it’s time to embrace this new stage of parenting, to recognize this is exactly how things should be.

And to appreciate that there is something beautiful and liberating about letting go, and leaping with faith into a new chapter of our lives.

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