From my son’s eyes…

T-Minus 11 days – Bye dad, we love you and drive safe.

T-Minus 10 days – Bye school, I love you and I’ll miss my best friend Logan, but at least I took his picture.

T-Minus 9 days – Bye Aunt Julie, Bye Miss Lisa……

T-Minus 8 days – Bye family, you are great fun (WHAT? We get to spend the night with cousins??”) and we will see you at Christmas time.

T-Minus 7 days – Bye Grandpa, happy birthday, we hope you enjoy the cookies.  See you at Christmas

T-Minus 6 days – Bye Grandma as the both return from their ritual walk with red eyes.  HeLLLLO Bumblebee at the Indianapolis Children’s Museum.

T-Minus 5 days – I have seen Rock City and FIIIIIINALY made it back to Athens, and my room.

T-Minus 4 days – That’s a whole lot of unpacking I’m watching y’all do.

T-Minus 3 days – That’s a whole lot of unpacking I’m watching y’all do AND I AM SUPER BORED WITH THIS.

T-Minus 2 days – Now we get to move boxes for our friends, wait ?  Is she going somewhere?

T-Minus 1 day – Hello Maemaw & Papa it is great to see you again.

 

My kid was a trooper in the last few days, and never was anything except what I thought he could be.  Tonight, with some supportive and loving words from my mom, I broke into tears.  It has been a lot of hello and goodbye, a lot of rallying to gain strength for a specific moment and leaving less and less for the moment that followed.  Any single moment of the last 11 days has been perfect, what it needed to be.  We all got home safe and we are 95% re-integrated (which is good because tomorrow we are back to full speed life).

Still, tonight, as my son struggles to fall asleep there is a resounding truth.  We are back, and we are different.  We are back, and our friends are different.  We are back, and where we spend our time is different.  It is all familiar, the same, and totally different.  I can walk this house with my eyes closed – but now it holds a piece of furniture I knew when I was 6.  I can drive these roads with confidence, but the grocery stores I can move quickly through are in a different time zone.

I want to talk about LLV in some broader and more literary sense, or maybe as a list of things, or a series of photographs.  In the end, it was 370 days of a life where I show up over and over and try to do the best I can for myself and for those that I love.  This 370 days feels a lot like I got good work done.  LLV is over, really over, but I am different now.  As is everyone else.

Chicago Skyline at Sunset

Chicago Skyline at Sunset (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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