My oldest child moved out yesterday. I am not sad. He is twenty so not really a child anymore. It’s time for him to go. He has worked hard, stayed in school, saved his money. It’s time. He is ready. I am ready. The family is ready.
Except maybe our littlest one. Nine year old Mitchel thinks he is going to live with Duncan and has said he will probably at least keep a box of his ‘stuff’ at Duncan’s house.
I am excited for my son. He’s going to have his own room for the first time in eighteen years. He will be able to take a shower whenever he wants except for when his roommate is taking one. But that’s just ONE person to share the shower with, not seven. Actually, now that I think about it I am a little jealous.
But I am not sad.
Neither is anyone else.
Except maybe thirteen year old Daniel who tried to be cool when he frantically ran out the door last night to catch Duncan before he left for the final time. I know he wanted to hug him but just reached out and sort of affectionately knuckle bumped Duncan’s arm. His eyes were not watering when he came back inside because he was sad. He was just tired.
It’s probably going to be hard for Duncan without so many people around all the time. Last year, he called me from our house completely freaked out. Everyone had gone to school or work and he was home alone and heard strange noises down the hall that he swore up and down were coming from a ghost of some sort. I laughed “Those noises are called quiet. It can be kind of weird when you’re not used to it.”
Years ago my mom’s boyfriend Mike gave us this clock that was driving him crazy because it tick-tocked so loud. Our house was the only one he knew of that would not notice such an obnoxious and noisy passing of time.
I filled the day yesterday with distractions. Namely putting together my new, high powered, pet owner vacuum so that I could give our old, half dead one to Duncan. “Do you think he even knows how to use one?” I shouted to my husband over the vacuum that was sucking so much dirt out of our bedroom carpet into the clear canister that I was actually torn between disgust and fascination.
“If he doesn’t he will figure it out honey” he shouted. Grant only calls me honey when he thinks I am on the verge of a meltdown.
I turned the vacuum off. “I’m FINE you know. It’s just that SHIT it doesn’t feel like I’ve had enough time with him. That’s all. I mean when the hell did he learn how to read? And now he’s moving OUT? Where have I BEEN?
And when did all the kids stop eating Happy Meals? Don’t they want the toys anymore?
And OH MY GOD what about all the Dr. Seuss books? When did I stop reading those to the kids? I NEED Dr. Seuss books!
And Maria has learned to put on make-up without my help! And it looks really good! Not at all slutty like I looked when I put makeup on at 15.
And the Halloween thing! None of them needed my help with their costumes! David was just humoring me letting me do his zombie make up. He would have done a much better job with the blood.
And WHO is Dillin going to blame for the cesspool that is now only HIS room without Duncan here?
But REALLY. I’m FINE.”
“Honey, Duncan is only a mile and a half down the street and he can’t afford cable so he will be here every Sunday night to watch “Walking Dead.”
I took a breath and nodded, holding back a sob as Grant gave me a hug even though he wanted to choke me for being so obnoxious all day.
I wasn’t sad.
I was just shocked because I hadn’t noticed the clock ticking.