His bed is made. The closet doors are even shut. All the pets have food and water. The sink is empty of dishes. The dishwasher not full enough to run. The armoire doors won't be open in the morning when I go out to the living room. The refrigerator will have exactly the same amount of food in it that it does right now and nothing will go missing from any of the cabinets.
The bathroom won't smell like men's body wash tomorrow when I get in. There will constantly be toilet paper on the roll and no wet towels will be sloppily thrown over the shower rod. I'll have to remember to get the mail tomorrow, and to walk the dog more often than usual. I won't have to ask whose phone just beeped, it'll always be mine.
I'll see him again briefly this time next week. Long enough to do laundry, repack and drive him to Ohio to meet the other grandparents. But then he'll really be gone. And while I really thought today, when I watched him board the plane, I really thought that this time, I would feel a sense of relief. A reprieve. A bit of the stress of trying to raise a teenage boy gone for just a bit. But I didn't. I turned and walked back to my car with tears.
He's growing up too fast, this boy of mine. Taller than me and already shaving, he's not my little one any longer. And now, as I reluctantly go to bed, not wanting to face the silence in the space where we usually chatter for a bit from room to room in the dark, what I will miss most is the sincerity in his voice when he goes to bed, passing by my room he always says, "love ya, Mom."
I know he'll have a great time. I know he's surrounded by love and joy. I know he wouldn't want to be anywhere else right now. I'm just so not ready for him to grow up.
The years have gone by in a blink. Faster than that, even. I don't know how he's changed so fast, or how we've come this far so soon. The years fly by.
The summer never does.
I miss you already, Flash.