The tears have started. Oh, this is not going to be easy. As I drove home tonight, I realized that this marks the end of another day. This means that I had one less day to go home and see my boys draped (largely) around the house. Suddenly, none of the things that have bugged me over the past few months (years!) seem to matter. I WANT to go home and see six cars in the driveway. I want four TV’s on. I want the house bustling with kids. I want to hear “Yuck” when I’m asked what I’m cooking for dinner. I want those piles of big shoes in the mudroom. I don’t want a neat, tidy, and quiet life without the boys around. I want one of them in the living room watching a History Channel documentary while the other one is downstairs playing the guitar. Soon, and I know it now, there will be way too much quiet around here.
I cried all the way home. I tried to hide it when I walked in the door, but I foolishly broke down the moment I walked in. There were my big boys, snide remarks and all, waiting for their mother to come in from the garage. I walked in and broke down in a mess of crying and laughing all at the same time. They’ve been expecting this. T announced, “Ah, I knew it was coming.” Luke said, “Oh, I’m heading into the living room.” Andrew said, “Don’t worry, Mom. You are welcome to bring a pillow and a blanket and crash in my tub anytime.” I stood there laughing and crying all at the same time.
I tried to tempt them away from their plans. Do they really need to grow up already? I told them that I have a plan. I thought it would be a blast to build a giant sandbox in the back yard. I’d be willing to quit my job, and we could play with bulldozers again all day long. They just laughed….although, I know for a moment that they thought it sounded like fun! These next few days will be difficult and bittersweet. I envy them their youth and excitement. I am so proud of them, and they are straining at the bit to get this show on the road.
T and I are going to try to make this as easy, and as much fun, as possible. Wait, I should say that after a “discussion,” T and I have decided to make this as much fun as possible. Yesterday, he suggested that we drive Luke to Milwaukee and back home all in the same day. Then…he suggested that we sleep over in Andy’s apartment the following weekend. Yeah, I about flipped out! I couldn’t believe that he wanted to just treat this as a serviceable job. Take the boys. Do what was necessary. Turn around and drive home. No, I wasn’t going to let that happen. It’s time for things to change, and I told T as much.
I have had fun in Chicago with our daughters. I have had fun in Chicago with Andrew. Now I am determined to teach T how to have fun, too. Thankfully, as I flipped out and told him that we were going to have fun, he began to smile. Andrew’s apartment is ONE ROOM. I am way too old to crash on the floor! It was just a minor bump in the road to loving each other again. We quickly agreed to make plans to spend time together on these trips to take our sons to school.
We are both taking the day off on Friday. We’ll take Luke to Milwaukee and then head over to Chicago. T hasn’t seen the neighborhood where Andrew will live. We’ve decided to park our car and explore a bit. Then we’re going to check into a hotel for the night and enjoy some moments of adult time without kids around. I’m looking forward to hanging out and relaxing. This is going to be a good step in the right direction for us.
These next few weeks are going to be crazy. The Tuesday after we take take Luke to Milwaukee, I will head back to Chicago for a class. I’ll be there all week. I won’t even be home to help Andrew pack. T and Andrew will head to the city on Thursday for moving day. I will only be in class until noon that day, so I will be ready to help with moving day by the time they get to the city. I am extending my stay, and T and I will once again spend some time alone in the city.
This is all going to take some careful planning. We are moving our boys away from home. At the same time, we have our continuing responsibilities at work. Things are hectic and busy. Boxes are everywhere. We’re feeling stressed out, but we’re also entering a new phase of our lives. For the first time in decades, we are going to be able to get to know each other once again. I’m actually looking forward to it. I’ve written about my sad Chicago walks, and I am excited to bring T along on my path. It will feel good to have a friend by my side. It will feel so good not to walk alone.