Larry drove David to college today. I know, I should be used to this by now, but truly it isn't the grown teen I am missing. You see, the problem is that, when a grown teen walks out that door for college, the cute toddler he used to be goes with him. Oh, I miss that little guy! So my couch is currently strewn with photo albums full of pictures of David, at age 2 and 3 and 4, looking exactly the same as he does now, only trapped in a body that is much shorter and rounder.
It's sort of like Muppet Babies, you know?
Anyway, I felt like grabbing him as he headed to the car and saying, "You do know how much you've meant to me, don't you?" But I didn't, because he doesn't. He never will. Parenting, although it has its rewards, is still somewhat of a one-way relationship. And that's okay. Most days, anyway.
|There was MORE than this.|
The past week David spent packing and attempting to clean out his room. Remember, David is the family packrat. The engineer/artist in him sees a potential use in everything, which prevents him from consigning anything to the trash can. Somehow, despite all this, he managed to cull out and pack the essentials, box up for the attic other items he wasn't ready to part with, and generally clean out his desk, dresser, and closet. It helped that he and Larry had spent an entire day a few weekends ago going through David's collection of defunct computer parts and disposing of them. (Believe me, when you have a techie kid, EVERYONE gives him their leftover electronics.)
|The resemblance was remarkable|
But last night, late, he turned to me and said, "My room isn't quite cleaned out." Now David, if I haven't mentioned it before, is a master of understatement, so I knew I was in trouble. And it's true - a cursory inspection this morning told me that I have some work to do in there. But not today. Today is for looking at old photos and wondering where the heck all that time went. Today is for remembering how, at age 3, that kid looked and sounded EXACTLY like Tweety Bird - big head, tiny body, and a speech impediment that had him saying "tat" for "cat." Today is for reminiscing about all the times David, aeronautics aficionado that he was/is, patiently explained to me the principles of flight (apparently, it isn't magic, as I had supposed).
Today, above all, is for wondering how we will make it to December without David around to fix all our stuff. I picture him coming home for Christmas and finding us regressed to living like cavemen, reading by candle light and cooking over open fires, as our computers and tablets sit silently with darkened screens, passwords irretrievable, software out-of-date. The floor under the Christmas tree will be bare, devoid of gifts, due to my inability to log onto Amazon. His younger siblings will run to him and cling to his legs, pleading desperately with him not to leave them again with their technology-impaired parents.
Yeah, we're scared we can't handle life without him. What of it?