The morning started like every other school day. Except this one was different. This was the day he was leaving.
As I went through the motions of getting my youngest son ready for his school day, I was preparing myself for my middle son to leave for college.
Amid the hustle of making breakfast and double-checking backpacks, I was trying to think of the little things Slick still needed to pack, and all the things I wanted to tell him. Time did not permit, however, and we hustled out the door.
But there was still so much I wanted to say.
I wanted to remind him to keep breakfast food in his room, because he likes to sleep til the absolute last minute. But there was no time.
We drove the little dude to school, with dad following in my packed SUV. Mr. Wonderful let me ride with him, allowing me to squeeze in the last few precious hours. After dropping his brother off, we rendezvoused for breakfast.
Once we got settled my husband asked, “What Shakespeare play had that dad who gave the good advice to his son? ‘Neither a borrower nor a lender be…’”
“Hamlet,” Slick replied.
Then he looked across the table with a smirk and said, “Dad, don’t be a Polonius.”
His father smiled back in silent agreement.
But there was still so much more I wanted to say.
I wanted to remind him that I’d packed all the medicine he’d need if he got sick, and that his insurance card was in his wallet. And that if he needed anything, he had my credit card.
Instead we chatted about the campus, and its proximity to the beach. Then we got back in the cars and headed east.
For the next few hours, Slick and I chatted about many things. Some profound, some mundane. Some practical, some superfluous.
But there was still much more I wanted to say.
And before I knew it, we arrived at campus. We unloaded the car and unpacked his things. We discussed the importance of organization when mom wasn’t there to find things. We talked about the dynamics of living with a roommate. Not ready to separate, we went shopping for snacks and drinks and breakfast foods, and notebooks and pens and extension cords. We had lunch and laughed when he spilled ketchup on his shorts – and I wished I’d bought that stain remover thing I’d seen in Target. Then I remembered doing laundry with Mr. Wonderful in college, and smiled. He’d figure it out. And he’ll have the time of his life doing so.
We returned to the dorm and I felt a quiet satisfaction, knowing he was ready.
It was time for me to go.
Quickly, before he had a chance to see me cry.
I told him again how much I loved him, and how proud I was of the man he had become. And even though there was so much more I wanted to say, I simply said goodbye.
Good riddance, son.
(Click the link, it all makes sense when you do.)