The night before we left the closet was almost empty, there were a few hand-me-down business suits that really were not needed, at least not right away, and the drawer of miscellaneous socks that were mostly ignored and certainly not needed. There was a big pile of clothes on the floor, the things that had been kept but unworn or outgrown and now there was no excuse not to give them away. Certainly they were not going to be flying across the country to sit in an already small dorm room and take up valuable space. We left the pile where it was, I can deal with it when I get back. The book shelves were still busy with years of soccer trophies, souvenirs from various trips, favorite books, the whatnot of childhood and growing up. I don’t know what we will do with all of it, I suppose leave it for a while, then store it. Slowly these things move out of one house and into another, just like the people they belong to.
I cried in hiccuping gulps the night before we left as I stood by myself in the partially moved out of room. It has been a few years since I have gone in to kiss her good night because she goes to bed after I do, but on this night I was up late distracting and exhausting myself so that I might be able to sleep for a few hours before we left, so I did. I sat on the edge of her bed and curled myself over so my forehead was touching hers, our noses together, just like when she was three and could only fall asleep for her nap if our foreheads were touching and I was lying by her side. She snuffled a little, took deep breathes and then was asleep so I kissed her brow on the last night that she lived at home, permanently and went to bed myself.
This is a joyful time of excitement and beginnings. I don’t want to go back either for myself or for her, but still you notice the change. It’s not bad, it’s just different. I have been living in this one way, wrapped up tightly in the life of another for a long time. Not so much in the sense of control, that has been shifting for some time now, but being in the space with, sharing a room a house an energy. Just seeing someone everyday or knowing that when they are gone, even for a few weeks, they are coming home to live, not to visit. This time it is different. Of course she can always come home, of course she will always be sheltered and protected and have a place with us, but something has changed. It won’t be the same, and it shouldn’t be the same, things have changed, are changing and it will be different when we go back. Just the way it is supposed to be.
Someone said to me that just because something is happening the way it is supposed to doesn’t mean it always feels good. I wouldn’t say that this feels bad because it doesn’t. But I don’t really know what it feels like either. There is opportunity and space were something used to be, there is a bend in the road that promises stunning vistas ahead, there is something new and I was used to what was there before. That’s all really. It’s just a thing to adjust to, not good or bad by itself but unfamiliar and perhaps a little uncomfortable at the beginning. A lot of things are like that, really to get any where in life you have to be willing to move through those moments, the unknown new, the changing.
Two of the tickets were roundtrip. Two of us are going home. One ticket was one way. One of us is going.