I don't think I'll ever get used to it.
We spent the weekend in Austin, and for 26 glorious hours, we were four again. When we picked Ryan up, he slid into his usual seat in the Family Truckster and everything just felt RIGHT. We had a great time with him while we were there, but faster than you can say "empty nest," we returned Ryan to his apartment and headed north for home.
We were a little more than an hour into our return trip when I had a question for Ryan. There in the passenger seat, I began to turn toward the boy's spot when I remembered: Even though we're four, most of our days are now spent being three. That seat where he should've been, that vacated space, suddenly consumed all the air in our Equinox. I had to hold my head in my hands, in danger of melting into the upholstery thanks to the sudden influx of tears.
Of course, I'm thrilled that Ryan is enjoying Austin, and I'm truly loving the extra Katie time we're getting now that she's our "only" at home (for this year, anyway). I'm so, so proud of both of them, turning into grown-ups with every phone call, every decision, every step they're taking toward their futures. I know that especially once football season ends, these Sunday afternoon goodbyes will be rarer and his absence will become the norm.
But I don't think I'll ever get used to it.