Granny the Ho is gone forever since she's graveyard dead. You have to say Good Bye when someone dies regardless of your views on an afterlife. Dead is dead, after all. Velvet is simply taking some of his shit and living in a dormitory a few hours away.
At the graduation ceremony on Friday, I watched Gigi looking at babies and little kids. The world around her went into soft focus, and you could practically hear, "I want one," hanging in the air. Women often get like that when they are about 30. The longing for a child becomes palpable. Interestingly, the longing never fills the air when they're looking at teenagers. When my mother caught me looking at a little kid with longing, she never failed to say, "They all grow up to be teenagers." Scared the hell out of me. I love the way my mother bursts glowing bubbles of dreams with stark practicality. She does that with all her children to this very day - which just goes to show that your relationship with your child may go through changes, but it's constant.
The dance of attachment and separation is a constant, too. For the moment, I'm not worried about separating from Velvet. We seem to be managing this process admirably. Spending half a day with Buzz Kill and his mother left me thankful to be divorced. I may be attached enough to Buzz Kill so that I don't want to say Good Bye Forever, but I'm cool with never seeing his mother again. Same with my assistant at my former job. I cordially despised both of them, though, and the relationships with them were something that I had to tolerate like an anal exam at an annual physical. Separation is a cause for celebration in those cases.
There are romantic relationships and friendships - attachments - that last forever despite time, distance and lifestyle changes. Then, there are relationships that are out of balance and eventually collapse. I've got holes in my life right now where some people used to be. I wished those friendships were different, but I didn't want them to end.
Some relationships do end, but not the one between me and Velvet.
The first summer he went to the Hippy Dippy Quaker Camp in Vermont, I was a bit desolate without him. After three weeks, his father and I went up for Parent Weekend with enough "contraband" -- Oreos, Skittles, Red Twizzlers, Beef Jerky, Nacho Flavored Doritos etc, etc, etc -- to give all the boys in his cabin a stomach ache. When it was time for the parents to go home, I thought Velvet would give me a giant hug and . . . Hell, I still don't know what I was expecting. What I got was a quick, "Bye, Mom," as he charged into the woods, running down the hill to find his friends.
I was stunned at how quickly he disappeared. But after a moment, I knew things were as they should be. Those woods were alive with shouts, laughter, learning. Sun on green leaves against a brilliant blue sky. He could dart off so easily because he knows with complete certainty that I'll not only be delighted to see him whenever he gets back; most likely, there will be cookies. That's a secure attachment.
He's dashing off to the woods again, sort of. At college, he'll be studying environmental sciences and engineering instead of survival skills, but within the first month of school, the freshman go on retreat in the Adirondacks with the kids in their major, so there will still be woods involved.