The truck is all packed.
The last load of his clothes – mostly of which he brought down from his bedroom floor (yesterday) – are tumbling in the dryer.
Some final bits of his ‘stuff’ – the things he needed into the wee hours – will go into the back of his car in a little while. These critical items are found in the photo above… game controller, game console, headphones, monitor. I don’t know if he will pack up the perpetual crumbs (but one can dream).
And then, in about two hours, Gabe and JoHn will head down the driveway, one of ’em driving the big U-Haul truck, the other driving Gabe’s car (as of last night, they still hadn’t settled on who was driving what, the driver of the U-Haul being the ‘loser’ in this scenario).
They’ll drive out of our driveway, and over the old swing bridge…
Toward Gabe’s new apartment, and new job, and new chapter in life.
You know, the adult-y one.
I will, I know, feel all the things my Mom-Self feels at moments like these (I’m no rookie). And, though my smile will be genuine as I wave him down the driveway…
The tears that will surely fall when he buries his face into the ruff of the dog he got for his thirteenth birthday… the princess whose muzzle is now flecked with grey… those tears will be real too.
Roots and wings…. that’s what we aim to give them… roots and wings.
It seems, somehow, extraordinary that the ordinary steps along Life’s path continue to happen as the world and all of its humans co-exist with so much that we didn’t, just months ago.
It is a bit of normalcy in the midst of this shimmering otherworldliness, one that has helped bring me back into myself.
For the past few weeks, I’ve purposefully taken my often over-pondering brain on a lot of field trips, places away from my phone and computer and newspapers, and – dear Gawd – network and cable news.
We – my brain and I – spent hours sanding and painting six Adirondack chairs (do you know how many pieces of wood and also screws make up an Adirondack chair? My best guess is 4,347 (but I lost count at 20)). We’ve walked miles and miles with friends and/or a certain hound and/or a certain German ShepHerd, and we’ve gardened… a lot… weeding and deadheading and planting and pruning. Each of these activities has been approached, intentionally, with only the immediate world as a soundtrack.
The breeze, rustling leaves…
Waves breaking on rocky shores…
The diesel engine of a friend’s old lobster boat…
The whining of a dog who wants to be with me (but whose hair would not look great attached to the dark green paint now on my chairs)… JoHn calling out periodically, asking if I’d like a glass of water… Gabe stopping by to tell a story or heading out for a run, or to the gym… kids riding bikes, laughing, playing, splashing.
Small things in the midst of big world events. The close up things that remind me near-sightedness is not a skill I ever wish to lose.
Life marches on (it’s pretty dependable that way).
And, since I am a pretty big fan of this particular parade (even with all the potholes scattered along the route) I am honored to be a part of it… as spectator, as participant (‘spectipant’ doesn’t work, and participator seemed somehow… bland).
So, this morning, I was up early.
In a little while, I’ll take a walk around to make sure there are no wayward cords, or certain wallet hiding in a drawer, or favorite hat that would be missed when he unpacks tomorrow.
I’ll smile when I hear his big feet hit the floor upstairs.
And I will smile through tears each time I look down to see Blaze’s wondering face… she always knows when someone is leaving, and knows the difference between a quick jaunt out and a prolonged time away.
Then, as promised, I will lose it when he hugs and kisses her goodbye.
But I will indeed be back to smiling – and mean it – when he and John climb into their respective vehicles and start their engines.
And I’ll be bolstered by the card he kept close to him, during these past weeks.
I found it placed carefully – okay, probably not placed ‘carefully’, but it was there – on one of his most treasured possessions (yes, his gaming console). I was kind of amazed. He never keeps cards. For twenty-two years, I’ve found them strewn about, or abandoned (most quite close to the place he opened them).
But this one, the one I gave him back in May, when he arrived home from his last year of college…
Go out there and do good, kid.
I kind of love you…
Roots and wings, mama, roots… and wings.
Thanks for readin’.
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