"This country is so BIG! California alone is four times the size of Korea..."
My little mom gets upset every time she's reminded of my pending move. She's been saying things like, "I didn't think about my own parents when I left them in Korea to come to the U with your daddy. I realize now how sad they must have been."
And then that makes me sad too.
I was born in San Francisco, and I have never lived anywhere outside of the bay area. After graduating from Berkeley (which was only a half hour's drive from my parents), I moved back home while I worked in public relations for a year, and I continued to live at home during law school. When I finally moved away from the nest again, my mom almost cried. And it only takes me 20 minutes to drive back to that nest - maybe even 15 if the traffic and lights cooperate. It's no wonder she's unhappy now; I've trained her to believe I'll always be nearby.
I'm finally ready to cut the strings. It's like I'm 30, going on 18.
The last time I was home, my mother fell asleep on the couch and mumbled that she was too tired to get up when I left. Usually, she walks me to the door and waves her goodbye as I pull away. She never closes the door until I've driven away completely. I used to think that maybe it was a Korean thing, but I realized that my Korean dad and my Korean brother only occasionally joined my mom at her farewell post. So then I thought that maybe it was a mom thing. Now I'm thinking that maybe it's a "my mom" thing. I sometimes didn't want her to walk me out, but I'll admit that there's something very comforting about seeing her tiny 5' form in the frame of the front door.
I kissed my parents goodbye for the night, and I felt a little empty when I let myself out, unaccompanied. But as I pulled away, I noticed a familiar silhouette in the upstairs window. There she was, half-asleep, watching over me. There's something very comforting about knowing that there are some things I can always expect of my mother.