I can’t quite remember the first time I looked at my adorable first born son and thought, “Jeez, when does he leave home?”
When he was 5 months old still hadn’t slept for more than 2 hours at a time?
When he changed his artistic medium from the Crayola 4 pack to a diaper pail palette for his wall art during his Picassoesque brown period?
When he suddenly had big hairy legs, a blooming complexion and a vocabulary downsized to one-word sentences? Yeah. Fine. Whatever.
Maybe it was when he called and said, “Mom, I’m fine. But the car….”
It doesn’t really matter, the day of departure is at hand.
Since infancy I have trotted out my best major league umpire imitation and promised “Four years, any state school and yerrrrrr out!” After completing his degree at A&M Tim is headed to the Department of Justice. I could tell you more but I’d have to kill you.
A week ago I ambled into his room with my tape measure. “Don’t mind me, “ I said as I found the perfect spot for my desk. “Great natural light in here Tim.”
“What are you going to do to my room?”
“I don’t know honey. Artist studio. Yoga retreat. Padded cell. Whatever I want it to be.”
Yesterday I put paint swatches on the wall.
But wait! I just had him. I still have the baby weight to prove it. The time goes so quickly! In the blink of an eye my gap-toothed toddler has disappeared and has been replaced by a handsome man that I hope will remember to floss. It seems like he just got here and now he’s leaving.
I see lots of young moms and kiddos at my grocery store gig. The moms will ask for advice, the kids will ask for stickers. I get to hear about school choices and loose teeth. Testing and toys. I love to return to little kid land, if only for a few minutes. When the groceries are rung up and paid for, I’ll hand the mom the receipt and say, “Enjoy them.”
And I don’t mean the juice boxes.