“Are you going to sort him out?” they asked me almost monotonously. “It will sort itself out. We go to sort out our life record. Let’s not miss the great moment, that of parting. Why else… What kind of animal life would we live?” Three children, three goodbyes. It is such a special moment, steeped in so many emotions. Dense. Apocalyptic. Like your eyes are clearing, what have you brought up. You are present and invisible at the same time. Their gaze runs to their stranger while you study their every inch.
You see them “big” in a day. And as soon as you say goodbye, you know you’ve reached an end. It is touching and at the same time, for both sides, a knot as it is untied, sweetly liberating. If, of course, you worked methodically for years. It is also closing the balance sheet. And it is strange, that while I am a pampering mother, from the time we reached that point of the route, I did not seek to travel to them again. My soul recognized that something completely theirs was beginning.
With our daughter… She was in London. I slept in a hotel, she now in her “home”. And I woke up suddenly in the night, deep night, with that feeling that I had been kicking for days. “So from tomorrow I won’t see her?” And I went out into the street, not recognizing myself but not caring to recognize myself, walking as if hypnotized, fearless. And I got there and rang her doorbell and she opened it like she was expecting me and didn’t even ask what happened or what the hell time it was, she just smiled. And I fell on her bed and slept next to her. And the other day… So much laughter together!
I remember me in the taxi with the window closed and her outside. And I was strangling the emotion, so I was very funny with so many grimacing tears and she saluted and made the same grimaces and it was “bad”, a coordination of tears and laughter that ended in effortless tears. And the taxi driver turned and looked at me curiously, not being able to explain people’s reactions, and I felt bad to have him as an observer and I told him sharply “Greek mother” and to myself “hey leave me too, you moron”. And I owe it to him that he didn’t say anything. That’s how we said goodbye.
With our son… He was in Lausanne with a temperature of minus 25 degrees. We went to eat but the atmosphere was cold, awkward. With long silences. He was looking somewhere else and I was scanning him when he didn’t see me scanning him. We were all holding emotions and a stupid fight broke out, somewhere to break out the whole thing.
Then he escorted us to the hotel. Let a snow fall brave. I put my arms out to hug him and I felt him tall and it hurt me because I nuzzled into his coat. And my mind was racing, dizzyingly racing, “So this is it? That is, from tomorrow…” And defensively in the breakup I wanted to leave him something. I wish my heart would come loose to let him… I remember this was going through my racing mind, what to leave him, and finally I took out my watch and gave it to him. And that was it. That’s how we said goodbye.
This time, for our sternbird, it was The Hague. “Tomorrow, morning morning, we’re leaving now” we told him over the phone. “Well, maybe we’ll meet today” answered us. And I laughed a lot with it “probably” and my slapped “What possibly, my child? If not today, when?’ as if I had eaten porridge. We invited him to a restaurant. He arrived. I smiled at him and said “Like you grew up in three days!” and I really meant it.
Again I was studying, seemingly indifferently, that look of his that was already running towards his unknowns. Awkward silence. Whatever advice his father gave him made him angry. Silence again. My hands hurt to steer the conversation to irrelevant things and I was relieved that we laughed. Laughter is a big deal. And one laugh led to another, as if we were kicking it “Hello”. But at some point the meal ended. We got out and walked to his bike. On the way, as much as I could, I touched him, caressed him. And as he unlocked the bike, a scene automatically flashed before my eyes, like a movie trailer.
He was in Tinos and his father had brought him his first bicycle without auxiliary wheels as a gift. We stood near him and stupidly started telling him what to do. Everyone was telling the long story and the short story. “Look to put your feet down and stop if you see that…”. Something stupid! Counseling fun! But he went up and fruppppp… With such ease! Straight! He cycled with the force of his momentum. It was so simple for him! This scene flashed in front of me as I watched him unlock his chain, then he opened a case and put the chain on and I was watching his hands so intently, studying everything, sucking everything in, as if he had a huge value.
Then, he mounted and cycled up to me and, looking at me inquisitively and sweetly, said to me: “don’t cry” and I “I ll try it”. He began to study my face, the scoundrel, and I choked with emotion and my throat ached and we began to laugh… And I lowered my safety glasses to hide, but “Oh, I wish, fool, that I will not cry!” Leave me!”, I told him and he was understanding. And then he hugged his father too. He turned the bike, raised his hand in salute and drove off. And we saw him go farther, farther, farther with the speed of his momentum, until he was lost. That’s how we said goodbye.
“Did you go to sort him out?” “No, we went not to waste the moment. Children sort themselves out. But moments like this? How can you lose them?’ Sacred, dense, untangling knot… Healthy liberating for both parties. A new chapter of life for the parent too…Parents on bicycles without auxiliary wheels…Life is animalistic.
PS How beneficial for their national economy the Netherlands (and Cyprus) took advantage of Brexit! “And the Greek Universities?” you will ask me assertively. I wish it was a Pilgrimage of Education of the whole world, in a country that historically deserved it to be. But… But… We made the most expensive free Education. Let’s say what we say.
Follow Protagon on Google News