Twenty years ago, when my youngest was four and I was thirty-something, he told me he was going to live with me forever; that way, he’d be able to drive me to the grocery store when I got old.
Of course, I always knew the time would come when he’d have new and better dreams than living with his mother. I figured it’d happen right after college graduation — as it so often does — though, lucky for me, the big bad wolf recession ended up granting me a two-year reprieve.
Not that the extra two years together has always been a cake walk. No, truth be told, at times, we’ve driven one another crazy rather than to the grocery store. He’s called me snarky. And I’ve called him a slob. And he tells me he’s not as much a slob as some of his friends. That, in fact, compared to his friends, he’s quite neat. And, then I say — with a long gaze across his bedroom, how hard THAT is to imagine — and how, he needs to compare his housekeeping standards to those he shares life with rather than with the bigger slobs he doesn’t.
And then he says something else. And I say something else. Then he. Then me. Then he. Until finally, I stop talking and walk away. Not in a snarky huff, mind you. No, being the adult, or at least the older adult, I walk away THINKING a reply, that I keep to myself. Or sometimes share with my husband. Because, both being writers, Kyle and I each want the last word. And this way, we both get it. He verbally. Me mentally. And we’re both happy. Sort of. Mostly.
Except now I’m sad. Mostly. Because Kyle’s moving out this weekend. And the parting is truly ‘such sweet sorrow,’ and not just on my end, I think.
And all week-long, when it seemed as if we had a zillion things to do, my husband and I have instead been moving furniture to Kyle’s new home, twenty minutes down the road.
And all week-long, I’ve thought of how good this move will be for Kyle. And said the same to Kyle.
And all week-long, I’ve thought about how much I’m going to miss Kyle living with us. And said the same to Kyle.
And all week-long, I’ve thought off Kyle’s silly sweet dream of living with me forever and driving me to the grocery store when I get old.
Funny how it was Kyle, not me, who brought that old dream up. It happened last night, I think. About the time he mentioned that he’d miss living here with his father and me.
To which all I could do was nod. Because there was nothing else to say. Then.
And now. Maybe just this: Kyle has always been sweet and always had a way with words, too, so that they’d stick, if not to memory, then at least to my heart.
Last night was no exception.