As I write this, it's late Sunday night. The house is quiet and still and I've just checked on Jack Henry one last time before I go to bed. He's been crying because he already misses Lincoln. He's not the only one.
Saturday we spent the day moving Lincoln's things to the dorm, making a trip to Wal-Mart for last-minute things he needed, buying his books, and getting him all settled at the dorm. But he slept at home Saturday night and on Sunday we finished up -- one more trip to Wal-Mart, back to the dorm to drop off one last load, and then goodbye. Yes, I know he's not far, and yet I'm still sad because I know things will be different. He won't be here in our house, right across the hall from Jack Henry. There have been a lot of emotions and thoughts running through my head. On one hand I am excited for him -- these are going to be some of the best years of his life and we are glad he's moved in to the dorms and is starting college. This is our job, to train him to be able to leave home. On the other hand, I'm thinking what all mothers think -- time went by too fast. There's a lot I could say, but really the simple fact is I'm going to miss him. A lot.
I'll miss him coming home after work or class and going straight to the kitchen to find something to eat. I'll miss him at family dinners and on Sunday mornings when we all ride to church together. I'll miss him and Jack Henry playing the Wii in the living room, playing basketball outside on the driveway, and watching Monday Night Football together on the couch. I'll miss him picking the girls up from ballet, not because it was one less ballet run I had to make, but because I liked seeing the girls come in with smiles and with Icees that Lincoln had stopped to get them -- something they would ask me to do on the way home from class but that I rarely did. I'll miss him on our first day of school and every day at lunch. I'll miss hearing him play his guitar and I'll miss calling him to dinner in the evenings by knocking on the kitchen wall. I'll miss coming in to make coffee early in the morning and seeing the one spoon in the sink that wasn't there the night before when I had cleaned the kitchen one last time for the night. It was the spoon he had used when he would come in late at night to get a midnight snack -- a few bites of ice cream straight out of the container. The same spoon that would at times irritate me because I would think, "I wonder why he doesn't just put it in the dishwasher." There are a thousand things I'll miss -- mostly just his presence here in our house.
As a mother I know I've complained about the never-ending work, the seemingly constant cooking and picking up, the never-empty laundry basket. But I look forward to those times when Lincoln comes home with his laundry bag full of clothes for me to wash, kicks off his shoes right in front of the door, and wants me to fix him something to eat.