Why is my son's departure a tear?
My son was 6 when I divorced his father. He is now 14 and will go live with him, a thousand miles from me. I feel a terrible pain at the thought of his absence. Why am I so selfish? Danielle, Lille
You are not selfish, Danielle. You are only ... normal.
It is perfectly normal, when one is a mother and one loves one's child, to feel an unbearable pain to the idea that one goes to live elsewhere and one does not see it any more only rarely. In this case during holidays.
This pain is inevitable because the children, anyway, leave one day. It is even one of the main difficulties of the "work" that parents have to do to help their child build. And we probably do not say it enough. To be a parent, in fact, is not to arrive at a "zen attitude" which would be based on a detachment such as one could, without suffering, see one day a child go away.
It is to have - like you - a three-dimensional, visceral desire (you speak to me, in your letter, of your stomach that refuses ...) to keep it for itself. And let him go anyway, so that he lives.
Today you allow your son to live with his father because it seems right to you. But mostly because he wants it and you respect his desire.
So, by allowing her to be free, you do your work as a mother. Painfully but with dignity and with great courage. The psychoanalyst that I am can only tell you one thing: hat! And send you, warmly, all his friendships.