The packing is complete. The target bags full of notebooks, pens, pencils, toiletries, snacks and his very first set of “dishes” stand ready for departure. His bedding is washed and folded in a box. The suitcases are next. They’ll be packed with whatever clothing items he’ll need for the first six weeks of life at the University of Mary Washington. Lucas is leaving in six days.
This past Sunday, Big Red rumbled in the driveway, stuffed to gills with clean clothes shoved into laundry bags, boxes full of all things academic, shoes, boots, back packs and every other conceivable item Zach will need to finish his last year at VMI.
Last weekend we celebrated us, them and our family in my most favorite way. We spent time on the water. Together. All of us. For one last time before the boys head their separate directions, and Claire becomes an only child for a while. And my heart nearly broke open wide almost spilling its contents.
During our weekend of family time, I realized something. In this moment of letting go, my heart is full. So very full. I watched as Zach showed me time and time again what a mature young man he is. His soft, brown eyes sparkled with pride as he skillfully navigated his way through the water, mastering the art of driving a boat. I watched as Lucas and Claire lounged and laughed and teased and tormented each other. Both of them enjoying the other’s banter. I can’t ask for anything more. My heart is full.
I know this letting go thing sucks. My throat involuntarily constricts when I think about leaving Lucas in his swanky new dorm room, or Zach finishing his final year and graduating. My head knows it’s all part of the master plan, it’s just still hard to fathom. But in this moment, my heart is full. And I will be forever grateful for my time with them. I learned something so very valuable. They’ll be back. I saw it this weekend. They may fly, but they know there is a perch here at home for them. Always.