Lately William has been watching the new Toy Story 3 movie. For those who don't know, in this third installment, Andy is grown up and is getting ready to go to college. It's bittersweet, all right. Andy is excited at what the future may hold, but he will miss his mother, and his childhood. His mother is sad and will miss Andy. Andy is going to store most of his old toys in the attic, but Woody is going with him to college. Of course, near the beginning of the movie, the toys escape and then have a nail biting, hair raising adventure before making it just in the nick of time, back into their box.
For William, the important part of the story is that Andy is going to college. He has begun to obsess over it, and I know why. He has realized that when he is old enough, he might go to college too. He has alternated between excitement and worry over this. A few days ago, he was in his room watching the movie for the umpteenth time and came downstairs to me in the living room. He was crying and he was very upset. I pulled him down on the couch with me and we hugged each other tight. I asked him what was wrong.
"When I'm 18 I'll go away to college and I'll miss you!" Wow, way to get to me. If anyone out there is looking for a way to make your mother do anything you want her to do, put this as number one on your list of things to try. If your mother is 98 years old and you tell her that the reason you are SO upset is that you are going to miss her, she will do cart wheels across the floor if that's what you are wanting her to do.
I continued to hold him tight (I am one of the privileged few who is allowed to do this), and I said, "William. You don't need to move away when you go to college. You can stay right with me. You can leave for college in the morning and come home in the afternoon, just like you for school do now."
"I can?" Mingled giggling and sobbing now. He was so relieved. I told him that there is a college right here in this town, and he could go to that college, and at the end of every day, he can come right home to me. I told him he can always, always come home to me. (Note to self: Don't ever die.)
Now he was trying to recover from crying, but he was laughing and he was so happy. He told me he was happy now. He went tripping back upstairs to finish his movie and to come up with the next anxiety causing scenario.
If I were granted one wish for William, it would be that he could understand the world he's in. He is getting some of it, very slowly. His younger brother has long ago surpassed him in his understanding of "things" and Sean is forever trying to explain "things" to William. I'm thankful for that, and I hope they will always be there for each other.