Jeff has safely arrived at the midwestern university where he will attend grad school and be a residence hall manager. He is there with all the worldly goods he could stuff into his little used car and still see out the windows. And, he is there with his galoshes! As the Boy Scouts say, "Be prepared, and get those puppies out of your mom's coat closet."
We have lived in Texas for fourteen years now. It's not my idea of an hospitable clime. This time of year when I walk out the door, the muggy heat slams me backward against the nearest wall, czungkak! My chest hurts, and I feel exhausted by my exertion. And that's just going out front to pick up the newspaper at 6:15 a.m.
I started my "new job" the day we all woke up and realized the world did not end on Y2K. One of the first weeks on the job I had to use my break between classes to go to the nearest mall in search of galoshes. Jeff was going to a high school debate tournament at Harvard. He was required to take two suits, a winter coat appropriate for wear over the suits, AND galoshes. I had already searched everywhere in my suburb for galoshes, and I was having to expand my search. My new co-workers offered advice and directions to the mall, and I raced over there. I hit every possible store setting a world speed record pace, and still couldn't find any galoshes.
What I remember is that I was learning this new job, and meeting all these new people, and feeling overwhelmed with their creative brain-storming effort to help me find the darn galoshes. What I forget is that they were learning about this new super-stressed single mom/art teacher and her three sons. As Dr. Seuss writes in What Was I Scared Of? about the empty pale green pants, "...I began to see that I was just as strange to them as they were strange to me!"
So this week these dear friends have laughed with me as I sent Jeff off into adulthood with those darn galoshes. I'm not sure he ever even wore them at Harvard in 2000. I know they've been in the bottom of the coat closet ever since. After we located his coat and the zip-in lining I told Jeff to wait! He needed to take the galoshes, too. I unearthed them, and Jeff said, "So these go on over my shoes, right?" Right, and they are not my responsibility any more! One son crossing over into adulthood as equipped for the real world as I could make him. One mom letting go of the small stuff.
And, just in case you are wondering, I finally found those galoshes at the Army/Navy store. They cost $19.86.