This morning my son and his girlfriend of 18 months broke up. He says it was mutual.
With my mother's intuition, I knew it was coming. I could just feel it in my bones, as surely as I feel my arthritic left knee when a weather change is about. Yesterday at Walgreen's, I bought him a Charlie Brown Hallmark card, one of those that "says the very best" without saying much, Charlie Brown getting a hug from Snoopy after the proverbial football is kicked out from under him.
I liked the girl. I'm sad for both of them. But I am mostly sad for him. He isn't ready to get married by any means, so he says. But I could hear the hurt in his voice across the miles, and I could feel his pain so much it was almost visible, like a shimmering neon-green laser pulse out of the phone.
His father talked to him for a few minutes and told him what his late mother told him when his first love ended.
There are more fish in the sea, son.
Never a truer, possibly unhelpful word was spoken, though our son is the result of that first one jumping off the boat, and the subsequent replacement by me. But he doesn't want to hear that.
And frankly, I had nothing better to say to him.
I want to scoop him up in my arms like I did when he was three and fell down the stairs. After I looked him over to make sure he was fine, I held him tightly just to let him know he was safe, secure, and loved. It's a little bit harder to do when he is almost 22 years old and lives a thousand miles away.
But this I can't fix. The "first love" is something common to almost everyone. I was twenty and was unceremoniously dumped in my dorm room. I came in from class and was surprised to see my boyfriend there, sitting backwards on my wooden desk chair. The conversation he was having with my roommate abruptly stopped when I came in.He lived in town, but attended a college two hours away. Seeing him unannounced was a shock.
I immediately, and I mean immediately, picked up on an intimacy between them that I hadn't noticed before. I never really learned whether I was right about it, but my intuition usually isn't wrong. She left the room and he said, "we have to talk."
I don't know the gritty details of my son's relationship; it is not something a young man shares with (or should) with his mother. I do know she made him happy, but she wasn't happy anymore.
I choose to believe there are more fish in the sea.