Sunday was our "one more" day: one more church service, one more dinner out, one more Survivor episode before Ryan's return to UT. With his big trip of a lifetime to Los Angeles and gatherings here with family and friends, his break was jam-packed.
We loved spending extra time with him. Problem is, I got spoiled. I let myself forget that he doesn't live here full time anymore. If only he weren't so much fun to have around!
From my perch in the sound booth yesterday, I had a nice view of my family during worship. It does my heart good when Ryan and Katie sit together at church. Just across the aisle from them was a mom, baby on her hip. Fortunately, I didn't notice her until the last song because the juxtaposition was too much for my mom angst to bear. It was only a little while ago that I was the one struggling to keep my baby boy entertained. Just the other day, I was the one wrestling with a wriggly kid. But now I'm wrestling with my emotions: overwhelming pride and joy for my Pride and Joy, but also bitter sadness for that empty chair that'll be at our table tonight.
Of course, I'm proud of the way he's coming into his own, finding his way in his coursework and in his college town. Brett and I are far from saying, "Our work here is done," but we're grateful that our almost-not-a-teenager is hard-working, intelligent, and kind.
As Beverly Beckham wrote in her excellent Boston Globe column about children leaving home, "It's not a death. And it's not a tragedy. But it's not nothing, either." There's a profound sadness that comes with this business of letting go. But in a big way, I'm glad I'm sad! We miss him when he's gone because we don't just love him. We LIKE him, too! And isn't that wonderful?
Here's to a great spring semester, Ryan. We love you times "infiniby"! Go get 'em, and hook 'em, too!