Letting go

May 3, 2007 at 10:02 pm 42 comments

reg on the way to brandonThe only worry I had last night was that I won’t hear my alarm clock and then Reggie would miss his 6:30 a.m. flight to New York.  So I told him to also set his alarm just in case I don’t hear mine.  I did go to bed earlier than usual.  I was in bed at 10:30 p.m.  That was way too early for me as I usually go to bed at 1:00 a.m.  

I did hear the alarm when it went off at 3:30 a.m.  I fixed breakfast while Reggie was in the shower.  I woke up his dad at 4:00 and we were all in the car by 4:30.  Reggie had to be at the airport at 5:15. 

As I sat at the front seat, I thought, so this is it.  After months of preparing for this trip, he was finally leaving.  We were just pulling up to Henderson Highway when my eyes started to well up and tears rolled down my cheeks. 

I was just talking to Lisa yesterday about Reggie leaving and how I cried when he first went away to winter camp in sixth grade.  And he was only gone for three days then.  And how I still cry whenever he goes out of town on these band competitions and festivals.  “I know it’s silly,” I told her.  “But I just can’t help it.”  She said she also knew about the grade six winter camping and that she thinks that she would also cry when it’s her son’s turn to go, which is still in two years since he’s only in fourth grade now.  

I know I told Lisa that I always cry.  But I also thought that maybe since I already talked about it, perhaps I wouldn’t cry anymore this time.  But there we were, just a couple of blocks from home and I was already crying.  Then again, I thought, it’s good that I let these tears out now while I’m still in the car, get it over with and maybe I won’t cry at the airport anymore. 

We got there in time.  Some of the kids were already there.  There were also a few parents.  The three chaperones were also there.  Reggie met up with his friends.  They were taking turns getting their boarding passes on the electronic machine.  Then they checked in their baggage.  I saw Iian’s dad and chatted with him for a while. 

At around 5:30 a.m., the principal, who was also going with them to New York, told them to gather upstairs at the second floor.  They could buy coffee if they wanted and they would wait there until 6:00.  My husband and I also went upstairs and so did the other parents. 

The kids, or I should say the teen-agers, gathered together talking amongst themselves.  Reggie was talking to Iian and their friends.  Some sat down with their parents.  I saw one of the boys had his arms around his mother, her head against his shoulder.  I could tell that he was consoling her.  I knew how she was feeling.  When she walked away, I saw her wipe her eyes.  Then one of the girls told her, “It’s a good thing.  We’ll be back real soon.”  The mom asked her something.  And then she said, “My dad dropped me off.”  But I bet you that her own mom must also be feeling a little bit lonely even though this trip is a good experience for these kids. 

At around 6:00 a.m., the principal said, “Alright ladies and gentlemen, we have to check in at the gate now.  Don’t just turn away.  Wave to your parents or give them a hug.”  I’m glad that she said that.  Iian stood up from his seat, followed by Reggie.  Iian went up to his dad and gave him a hug.  Reggie went towards me and also gave me a hug.  He doesn’t usually hug me but I’m glad that he did.  I hugged him back and stroked his back.  “Okay, you go now,” I told him in my crackling voice.  Darn, I should have brought the box of Kleenex with me. 

We still followed them up to the departure gate.  “I want to go too,” one of the dads said.  “Me too,” I said.  I asked Iian’s dad if he had ever been to New York.  He said no.  I said that I have never been to anywhere.  Then he said, “Yes, you have traveled halfway around the world.”  I said, “Well, yeah, but that’s different.”  He said, “of course, that’s for family reasons.”  And then we talked about how these kids are lucky that they get this opportunity to travel while they are still young.  We never had anything like this when we were still in school. 

At around 6:15 a.m. they were all checked in.  My husband said that he’d go to the washroom before we leave.  I also said that I would go.  And of course, once I was alone by myself, I started to cry again.  Darn it, I only have two sheets of Kleenex left in my purse.  I rolled out a long piece of toilet paper and used it to wipe my tears and blow my nose.  Looking at the mirror, I tried to fix myself up before I went out. 

Somehow the drive back home took longer.  He took a different path.  We were still driving when the clock read 6:30 a.m.  They are taking off now, I thought.  Tears just kept flowing and I cried silently in the car, wiping my tears with my hand, trying to save my remaining tissues.   

I know that he’d be back before I know it and that this experience is really good for him especially since he’s pursuing a career in jazz music.  I also know that I should let him spread his wings but it’s just too darn hard to let go.

senior jazz band

This is the River East Collegiate’s senior jazz band, one of the 15 finalists in the 12th Annual Essentially Ellington Competition and Festival at Jazz at the Lincoln Center in New York City.  This is the only Canadian group that made it to the finals so we are very proud of these young talented musicians.

Related posts:

Essentially Ellington

River East jazz band on the Herald

He is an explorer of music and …

On winter camping 

Growing pains (x3)

Chicago – A Music and Arts Experience 


Entry filed under: My life as a mom, New York, Reggie and his music.

Green sprouts in Spring Nostalgia in Times Square

42 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Kyels  |  May 4, 2007 at 10:29 pm

    Ate, when is Reggie coming back then?

    Reading the post made me shed tears too. I guess I could comprehend how my mother felt when I left the city to pursue my tertiary education. She must have been worried, sad, etc at the same time happy for I have been able to achieve something in life.

    Your post enlightened me.


  • 2. Belle  |  May 4, 2007 at 11:17 pm

    Niceheart, I know how it is like. and the worse is yet come…when you drop him off to college. i tried to put up a brave front but when it was time for me say goodbye, my tears started rolling down my face, and I couldn’t stop it. we were both crying.

    But don’t worry, it gets better each time she/he leaves. I toughened out, as a result. No more tears!

    Wow, that is a feather in Reggie’s cap to be with the best of the best. Congratulations!

    you know that my daughter is going to New York with her choir class, too, this June.

  • 3. niceheart  |  May 4, 2007 at 11:18 pm

    He comes back next week, Kyels.

    I’m glad that this helped you understand how your mother feels. 🙂

  • 4. niceheart  |  May 4, 2007 at 11:24 pm

    I know you can relate Belle. Your daughters are almost the same age as him, right? I’m glad that Reggie is not really “going away to college.” He’s going to a university right here. So your daughter is going to NY din pala. I’m sure she’ll also have a good time there. 🙂

  • 5. Sidney  |  May 5, 2007 at 2:24 am

    I guess fathers are a bit different. I love my son very much but I also know he needs to spread his wings to become a well balanced individual. Next week (he is almost 14 years old) he will go with his team for a long weekend to Malaysia. I proud of him and I don’t think I will cry… 😉
    Mothers are probably more emotional.

  • 6. ernesto  |  May 5, 2007 at 2:28 am

    Who is Reggie???

  • 7. chase  |  May 5, 2007 at 2:58 am

    Well I think it is a natural reaction of a mother. Honestly, I havent experienced that with my own mother.

  • 8. sesame  |  May 5, 2007 at 3:22 am

    I felt sad reading your post. I can feel your heartache even though he’s only gone for a week. It’s afterall his first long trip away right?

    Everyday they grow up a little, and everyday we learn to cope with that. Even though mine is still young but I do thik about how I’ll feel when the time comes…

    Take care. He’ll be back really soon and you’ll be smiling again.

  • 9. annamanila  |  May 5, 2007 at 9:06 am

    He comes back next week! awwww Moms are really … what can i say …. moms.

    Hirap din talaga ano. We want them to spread their wings .. to grow … and be independent. On the other hand, we want to protect them and shield them fromt he sometimes unpredictable world.

    We strike a balance. Then we grow too.

  • 10. noemi  |  May 5, 2007 at 12:41 pm

    there . there. I know how it feels dear. I remember just 1 day without my girls at home, I felt so alone. Wait till they leave for college. We get better each time.

  • 11. JO  |  May 5, 2007 at 7:51 pm

    It is hard for mothers to let go… but we have to go through it at one point… dont worry, I’m sure he is well trained to be on his own.

  • 12. Ysa  |  May 5, 2007 at 8:27 pm

    oh.. this made me sad.. hu hu.. I don’t want to see my boys go on a trip one day without me, though I know it will eventually happen..

  • 13. ladybug  |  May 5, 2007 at 11:50 pm

    Things will eventually get better. Btw, good luck to Reggie! Please keep us posted.

  • 14. rachel  |  May 6, 2007 at 1:39 am

    First of all, Congrats to Reggie and his band. One time I passed by their school, I saw the sign and I felt proud being a Winnipegger too. Ano ba yan bakit ba ganyan tayong mga moms very protective and emotional. I felt the same when my kids went to the camps for the first time in sixth grade – I even tucked in notes in their luggages for them to read when they opened them. Somehow, I’m getting used to their out of town trips but still, as you said, tears just keep on welling.

  • 15. Tin  |  May 6, 2007 at 3:51 am

    Congrats to Reggie and his band. I wonder if my mom shed tears also whenever we go out of town without her. Nakita ba ni Reggie na umiyak ka?

  • 16. kathy  |  May 6, 2007 at 4:40 am

    You said it yourself – he’ll be back before you know it. So cheer up! 🙂 I remember the day my family brought me to NAIA for my departure…my dad was teary-eyed and one of my sisters cried her heart out. It was a bittersweet moment. I felt like crying, too, but I didn’t want to show them that I was sad.

    Congrats again to Reggie and his fellow band members for making it to the finals! Good luck and God bless!

  • 17. rhodora  |  May 6, 2007 at 4:58 am

    I felt the same way too when my daughter went last summer for a study tour in the U.S.

    We feel it each time our children’s wings are soaring higher and higher, noh? Kalungkot, but we have to face reality. 😦

  • 18. pining  |  May 6, 2007 at 12:49 pm

    I wish him good luck, first of all 🙂
    Must be really hard for you as it is for him, but as they were saying, it will get better… I’m sure it’s a big adventure for him 🙂

  • 19. niceheart  |  May 6, 2007 at 1:13 pm

    I guess that’s one thing that men are different from women, Sidney. We are more emotional, or we just can’t help to show our emotions. I bet your son is also excited to travel to Malaysia. We are all proud of our kids, aren’t we?

    Ernesto, it’s obvious that it’s your first time here. 🙂 Reggie is my 17-year old son, the oldest one. Thanks for dropping by, btw. 🙂

    Chase, I guess it’s a motherly instinct. I’m sure your mother must have felt something like this. You just probably didn’t know it.

  • 20. niceheart  |  May 6, 2007 at 1:19 pm

    Sesame, this post sounded so sad, eh? But that was how I felt. Actually, Reggie’s first long trip happened last year when the whole concert band went to Chicago. They were gone for five days. They didn’t fly that time. They only drove, rented three buses. I think I also cried that time on the way home in the cab. I’ve also written a post about that. You can click on this link: Growing Pains (x3).

    Anna, I know, it’s only one week. I made it sound like he’ll be gone longer, no? I know what you’re saying. If we could only keep them at home to protect them, but yet we also want them to experience the world, but worry about the dangers and disappointed lurking anywhere.

  • 21. niceheart  |  May 6, 2007 at 1:25 pm

    Thanks, Noemi. I know you’re the one you can relate very well. Fortunately for me, Reggie is staying in the city when he goes to university in the Fall. 🙂 But eventually, I know he’ll “go away” someday. Empty nest – I’m so not looking forward to that.

    JO and YSA, it’s really hard for us mothers, eh? I know that he’s quite independent so I don’t worry about that too much.

    Ysa, thanks for dropping by. btw. 🙂

    Thanks ladybug. And yes, I will keep you guys posted. 🙂

  • 22. niceheart  |  May 6, 2007 at 1:31 pm

    Rachel, hmm. Looks like you are closer to me that I thought. Do you happen to know me, by any chance, or have you seen me walking around in the neighbourhood? 🙂 I’m also used to his out of town trips naman. I think I exaggerated when I said I always cry. Because I don’t when he goes to nearby Brandon. But I still feel empty when he’s not here. Like something’s missing.

    Thanks, Tin. Even if she doesn’t cry, I’m sure your mom feels lonely too. I don’t know if he’s seen me cry. But my kids know me too much. I think he did.

  • 23. niceheart  |  May 6, 2007 at 1:35 pm

    Thank you, kathy. Oh don’t worry about me. I am still too busy with two kids here at home that I don’t really have time to mull over his absence that long. 🙂 Airport goodbyes are often sad, eh?

    Hey Rhodora, I didn’t realize that your daughter has been to the U.S. already. It must have been an exciting and memorable experience for her. I know, it’s sad to let them go. But that’s just the way it is.

    Thank you Pining. As hard as it sounds, I also know that it will get better. I hope it will. 🙂

  • 24. ipanema  |  May 6, 2007 at 4:16 pm

    I think we mothers feel this way. I cry easily too.

    I hope that they win! Let’s cross our fingers for that. 🙂

  • 25. rachel  |  May 6, 2007 at 6:23 pm

    Niceheart, I wish I knew you, but I can tell we do have a big community here. When I look at your album, I try to see if I can recognize anyone, but surprisingly, no. I always pass by your son’s school when I visit my elderly Ninang who lives in Springfield. Anyway, if I bump into you in public places, I will not hesitate to say”Hi” and introduce myself. You seem like a very nice person to meet and know.

  • 26. ann  |  May 6, 2007 at 9:56 pm

    I don’t even allow my kids for a sleep over, what more kung ilang days pa..mga mama talaga.

    Congrats and goodluck to Reggie!

  • 27. Toe  |  May 7, 2007 at 2:57 am

    Niceheart, ako nga, ang tanda-tanda ko na, everytime my Mom makes me hatid to the airport or wherever I’m going, she always cries. I think it’s really like that. I’m so excited for Reggie though. He’s going to have such a blast in New York. And he’s actually performing at the Lincoln Center. I’m so green with envy. 🙂 Don’t worry about him. He’s your son… so he’s a good and responsible young man. 🙂

  • 28. Wil  |  May 7, 2007 at 3:34 am

    I can’t say my mother has ever cried when I leave home or leave for college or if she’s dropping me off at the bus station or what have you. I think she’s glad to be rid of me. hehe. But seriously, my mom just doesn’t get emotional, I suppose. I’ve only seen her cry once. That was in 1989.

  • 29. watson  |  May 7, 2007 at 7:43 am

    Niceheart, kinakabahan na tuloy ako. Maiyak rin kaya ako kapag umalis si Jo-Lo to go sompelace else? Baka magyaya na lang ako ng kainuman at inom nalang kami. hehe

  • 30. Rach (Heart of Rachel)  |  May 7, 2007 at 10:19 am

    Hi Niceheart. I understand how difficult a short separation from your child could be.

    I remember complaining how I wanted a little break and wanted to spend a few days away with friends. My husband let me have a short vacation with friends. Ironically, when I was boarding the plane, I felt tears run down my face. I realized I already missed my son. It was just a 4 day vacation but it felt like a year.

  • 31. julie  |  May 7, 2007 at 11:38 am

    Hi Niceheart. It is rather a touching moment when a child leaves home, even for a few days, in order to spread his wings and explore other possibilities that the world has to offer. That is a part of their learning to be the good citizens we always wanted them to be. As for us parents, we feel the empty space created by this absence. We too, need to learn from these experiences: of letting go, even for just a while, of letting them know how to be independent and being responsible. As this is a seemingly natural process, we take advantage of the time we spend time to be together with them. And we don’t forget telling them how much we love them.

    Have a nice week ahead of you. 🙂

  • 32. Shoshana  |  May 7, 2007 at 1:03 pm

    This is what I have to look forward too….my eldest is only 9, and I can already see where she might be headed. Her piano teacher and others who listened to her play said she’s very talented. Jilliard has been mentioned, but that’s a long ways away.

    The same with DS1. All I can think of..thank goodness they’re babies yet. I have time to get used to them leaving. I would probably cry buckets too.

  • 33. niceheart  |  May 7, 2007 at 11:15 pm

    Ipanema, we are also hoping that they’ve won. 🙂

    Ah ganun ba, Rachel? Yeah, if you do bump into me, don’t hesitate to introduce yourself. I just hope I meet your expectations. 🙂

    Thank you ann. My kids have been to sleep-overs naman. And okay lang naman sa akin. No tears. 🙂

  • 34. niceheart  |  May 7, 2007 at 11:21 pm

    Toe, ganon ba? It looks like there will be more tears in the future pala for me. 🙂 Ako nga rin, I wish I was also in New York. I’m sure they are all having a blast there. 🙂

    Wil, actually, I don’t usually let anybody see me cry. I just couldn’t help it that time. But you know what, my kids and I were watching the final episode of The Amazing Race last night. And when Eric and Danielle was about the get to the end, I said, “Oh this is the part that makes me cry.” And sure enough, tears rolled down my cheeks. Right there in front of my kids. 🙂

    Watson, I guess dads and moms cope with the sadness differently. 🙂

  • 35. niceheart  |  May 7, 2007 at 11:28 pm

    Rach, that was so sweet of your husband to let you take a vacation. I have never actually took off and left the kids at home, even for a short vacation. Now they will be the one leaving me. 🙂

    Thank you julie for your nice comforting words. Yes, I’ve always thought of parenting as a two-way learning process. We teach our children how to be responsible and independent, and in the process, we also learn all these things, like letting go and being unselfish, etc. 🙂

    Wow Shoshana! Your daughter must be really good if there’s already mention of Julliard. But as you said, you still have a long ways to go. So just enjoy your time with them for now. 🙂

  • 36. eric aka senor enrique  |  May 8, 2007 at 4:01 am

    Wish I were in NYC now to check out this jazz festival. The Barnes & Noble bookstore across the street from Lincoln Center is usually where I went to read, drink some coffee or tea, and buy books.

    Reggie will have the time of his life there, Irene. It’s a wonderful opportunity for him. I wouldn’t be surprised if he later on moved to New York for good; then you can go to NYC as often as you like … hehehe.

    He’ll be all right. Don’t worry.

  • 37. haze  |  May 8, 2007 at 9:35 am

    I can feel the sadness of your story! I felt the same way too when my son went to school (1st day) malapit lang yon! When the guardian told us we should leave and they’ll close the gate it’s like I wanted to bring my son back at home ! Gate closed, heard my son crying and trying to open the gate with all his force 😦 !

    I guess mothers will always be a mother kahit malalaki na sila at independent nandyan pa rin tayo! Wishing all the best to Reggie’s Band and to you Niceheart don’t worry everything will be OK ! Be glad your Reggie is growing very independent and proud !

  • 38. bingskee  |  May 9, 2007 at 9:34 am

    ang cute naman ng reggie mo. smile ka lang dyan. nagsalita ang di iyakin, ‘no? mothers are really emotional. but i guess fathers are emotional, too, but it would be difficult for them kasi to show the tears.

    good luck to your reggie and to the band!

  • 39. niceheart  |  May 9, 2007 at 10:55 pm

    Eric, you just said out loud what I was thinking. That he might like it there and move to New York. Now, that is a plane ride, or two, away. 😦

    Haze, I also still remember Reggie’s first day at school. Actually he didn’t cry. But I couldn’t leave right away and lingered there and watched him from the glass window. But he didn’t seem to miss me as he immediately socialized with the other kids at school. 🙂

    Aw shucks! Thank you Bing. Buti na nga lang the kids got their looks from their dad. 🙂 Their father is not emotional, or maybe as you said, he just doesn’t show it.

  • 40. sexy mom  |  May 10, 2007 at 7:23 pm

    letting go is kinda difficult, but once we are able to fully let go, we feel a great relief in our hearts. but even if we let go, it does not stop there. afterwards we learn the art of open and continuous communication, this time, more on listening, more of moral support–not anymore calling the shots. because someday soon, our kids will be men of their own.

  • 41. niceheart  |  May 11, 2007 at 11:31 pm

    Thanks for these great words of wisdom, sexymom, coming from a very experienced mother. 🙂

  • 42. Cutting the umbilical cord « Journey to Honeyville  |  December 2, 2007 at 11:49 pm

    […] transit bus by himself (now you know which particular one I’m referring to), partying, dating, saying goodbye at the airport so he could experience his dreams of being a jazz musician, etc, etc.  You’d think that his […]


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