When One Plus One Equals Way More Than You Think

“There are no words to express the abyss between isolation and having one ally. It may be conceded to the mathematician that four is twice two. But two is not twice one; two is two thousand times one.” Chesterson

I woke up yesterday morning planning on a day to finish up some work and more importantly, get myself emotionally prepared to take my son back to school.

Then my son hit me with, “I think I want to go back today.”

Inside I was groaning.
Outside, I nodded and calmly said okay.

I realized I better hurry up and quick work through my internal resistance to sending him off for another year of school.

Mind you, my son is not in elementary school, middle, or even high school.

This is his third year of college and I’m beginning to wonder if I’ll ever get used to the late summer drive back to Ann Arbor carrying a literal truckload of his stuff (and a generous portion of my heart.)

I hate goodbyes.


I would much rather not say anything than speak that dreaded two-syllable word.


From where I sit, there’s no, “good” in the “bye.” Ever.

So I prefer the rather limpy and innocuous farewell, “See you later…” which of course, implies sooner rather than later. I like that.

You see, moms think (and add) differently than other folks.

In my way of thinking…

One mom plus one son equals way more than two single dimensional family members.

Factor in sharing delicious meals, wonderful coffee, in-depth conversations, cleaning projects, action movies, and lots of philosophical bantering…well, that’s a whole lot more than skimpy one-dimensional interaction.

I’m finding the older my kids get, the more we have to talk about, discuss, and explore.

It’s like opening the pages of a book and all the letters coming flying out and you grab at one after another…always finding more and more to choose from on the next page.

I suppose the biggest surprise to me as a mom to four young adults is that each of them uniquely adds richness to my life.

And I’m not talking simple addition here, I’m thinking exponentially…a thousand times a thousand.

Parenting, it’s the job description/life role where the wonder and discovery never end (and where the goodbyes are never permanent.)


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