“You are my sunshine, my only sunshine, you make me happy when skies are grey, you’ll never know dear, how much I love you, please don’t take my sunshine away!”
When I told Kevin that I am going to start this blog, he replied “Wow, that’s cool Mom!” So even if I just do this for the sake of being cool in my son’s eyes, this blog is happening come hell or high water.
Everyone who knows me knows that my three boys are my pride and joy, and frankly, they are pretty much my whole world. Nathin (23) is my handsome, stubborn, brilliantly intelligent firstborn and Jaedin is my ‘laatlammetjie’ who is certainly the wisest, most insightful 9-year old on the planet. I love them both to bits. And then there’s Kevin who turned 21 this year. Kevin is… well, Kevin. He is my personal tonic, my coffee, chocolate and champagne. I can count the arguments that we have had on my one hand, and although people frown upon it (and I don’t really care to be honest) we are the best of friends. He knows me like no other being on earth does and he is one of the few people on this planet who really, really ‘gets’ me. Everybody loves Kevin. I have always taken it for granted and blatantly assumed that he will be part of my life forever and although that we may not always be in the same province, that we would at least always be on the same continent. This assumption has recently been shattered…
My beautiful ‘person’, light of my life and the reason I smile (or laugh out loud) most of the time, is going to New Zealand to complete his honours degree because the University of Stellenbosch wouldn’t afford him the opportunity to do it with them. I have my suspicions why, but because this blog is not about how unfair reversed discrimination is, I won’t say anything. He is supposedly going for “only” 2 years. But I am not naïve and not blind to the problems in our country, so it would be presumptuous of me to think that he will most definitely, without a doubt, return in 2021. No one can say that. Oh how I wish I could and then he would, but I just can’t so I won’t.
The big ‘farewell’ date is 18 January 2019. Incidentally there are two birthdays in my family on the 18th. My apologies to my family members, but I’m afraid I aint gonna be singing happy birthday to anyone on that day. Instead I will be dragging myself to the airport to say goodbye to my son. And it’s really no use calling it ‘farewell’ because it’s semantics really. The harsh reality is that I will be saying goodbye to the apple of my eye and that it is going to be damn hard. My poor husband, I know he dreads that day too…
I have arranged a farewell party for Kevin on the 13th of January – 5 days before he leaves for New Zealand. I am so thankful that his friends and everyone who loves him, will have the opportunity to say a proper goodbye to him before he leaves. Because I know those memories will sustain him when things get tough so far away from home.
Kevin wouldn’t like to hear (read) it, but I cry about him going away every night. And every time I think of it during the day, I can hardly breathe. I cry in the car when I hear a nice song, I cry in the shower, I cry when I watch a sad movie (and it’s not about the sad movie) and I cry when I think about his beautiful girlfriend Georgia who he is leaving behind in SA. I also cry for his baby brother who is not going to see his hero for such a long time. I cry a lot about the situation and I know for a fact that I am going to cry buckets more.
So this is my blog about being a long-distance mom. I am a long-distance mom not just to Kevin, but also to Nathin (he is an IT Engineer and stays in Cape Town and although he’s quite far away I am blessed to see him regularly) and to some degree, also to Jaedin, who I see regularly but whose primary residence is with his dad and stepmom. It’s hard. It’s very hard being a long-distance mom, but I won’t ever forget what a privilege it is to be called mom in the first place. And for that I am truly thankful.
If ONE more person tells me that it’s ‘better’ for Kevin to go to New Zealand, that he is ‘investing’ in his future and that it would be ‘over’ in no time, I am going to smack them. Literally smack them. I don’t want to hear it. I don’t want to hear how wonderful it is, and how there’s no crime in New Zealand and that he is getting a bunch of new opportunities and that it is going to be wonderful, and that it’s great that his dad stays there too. Neither do I want to hear how bad South Africa is. I do NOT want to hear it. Yes, I am selfish, self-centred and uncompromising. I am his mother. And I want him here. Not there.
You remind me how so much depends on days made of now…