The last year…
I’m having one of those weeks. That’s not true. It’s been more like two months. At first, I thought it was the moon. Menopause. Too much social media or fast food. Not enough water. Then last week as I lay wide awake in bed anxious over an endless to-do list, it hit me. The thing that was making me a little crazy lately. He’s leaving soon. The littlest, who is now the biggest in terms of height, is a senior in high school.
That means in a matter of months, we will load up the car with twin sheets sets, closet/drawer organizers, toiletries, and an epic selection of wall décor (aka “The Big Lebowski” and “Pulp Fiction” movie posters) and move him from here to there. We don’t know a lot about there yet. He hasn’t made his final decision on where his there will be.
We know his brother managed well there. He managed to eat and wash his own clothes and make it to class and work and graduate. I have a reference point for this feeling. I know what to expect while expecting. But this time, it’s still…different. It’s different because we are talking about a different child. We’ve had different experiences, me, and this boy.
I can give you all the perfect, Instagram worthy descriptions of moments I’ll miss.
The hugs and kisses I get the minute he walks in the door from school or work or before he goes to bed. I’ll miss that.
Listening to his music suggestions and liking them.
Watching him play a new song he mastered on the ukulele.
Watching something funny together when a day felt particularly heavy because laughing always makes us feel better. How could I not miss that?
Sharing handfuls of hot buttery popcorn mixed with peanut M&M’s while watching “Elf” or “Monty Python’s Life of Brian” for the 1,200 time.
There are so many little things.
It’s easy to miss the good stuff. But if history has taught me anything with the first go round moving his big brother from here to there, I will miss the not so perfect, even difficult days just as much. You know the days I’m talking about. If you have a teenager or had teenagers at one point or another, you know. The days when you feel like it will be a miracle if you both survive this phase of parenting.
The days when every single glass in the house can be found in his bedroom, on his nightstand, on his desk, on the bathroom sink.
The days spent worrying about him making the team, making the grade, and making the right choices.
The days when there’s 50 empty junk food bags strewn on his bedroom floor.
The days he gave me the silent treatment because I said NO to something.
The days/month/years he didn’t touch the banjo he just had to have.
The times he got mad at me every time I had the nerve to ask him about playing said banjo.
The days we didn’t bring out the best in each other.
The days when we were too hard on each other.
The day when he looked me in the eyes and lied. After I assured him that he’s been granted full immunity. Even that day, I will miss. Because that day taught me that he was human too. Prone to mistakes and bad days just like the rest of us.
We still have a few months left yet. A few months to enjoy every silly Napoleon Dynamite giggle. A few months to wonder where he puts the 15,599 calories per day he eats. A few months to love on the little boy who completed our family on an overcast December afternoon in 2003. He will be back, of course. It will just be different. So, I guess until the time comes to move him from here to there, we will enjoy every single minute here. Even if it means I must buy a new set of glassware.