In 6 hours, my son's girlfriend, Kim, his best friend, Justin, and our family sit down to Taylor's "Going Away Dinner". He's selected his favorite, lasagna.
In 10 hours I'll tell him good night and cry myself to sleep over how much I'll miss my sweet son.
In 22 hours we'll begin the final preparations for his departure. We'll start packing up his suitcases with all the clean laundry. We'll pack his school things we've already purchased, the books that we've bought off the internet for his classes, his refrigerator, his microwave, his television and dvd player, his ironing board and iron, all his little "extras" for his room and his appliances.
That should take the majority of the day and, God forbid, if we've forgotten anything, our last minute runs to the store will be frantic at best.
In 32 hours his dad will arrive and we'll begin packing the car and his dad's Durango.
In 34 hours or so, I'll say good night to my son and cry myself to sleep again. It will a night filled with so much excitement, so many new dreams beginning for my sweet child, my sweet middle boy, my sweet home body boy, my sweet young adult son.
In 46 hours we'll be leaving for Farmville, Va. To Longwood University. To the town in which his dad and I met and fell in love. To the town in which he'll spend the next four years growing, learning, experiencing new things, finding out more about himself, maturing and preparing himself for the world. He's ready for this, though admits being a little apprehensive. He's excited. I know he's excited.
In 48 and a half hours, we'll begin unpacking his belongings and helping arrange them in his new "home away from home". He'll be staying in the same dorm in which I spent two years while I was at Longwood. He'll be on the same floor on which his Aunt lived her Sr. year at Longwood. He'll be walking the same campus his aunt, mom, dad, grandfathers, great uncles and aunts, great grandfather and great aunts have walked before him. He'll be continuing our history at this wonderful place.
In about 51 and a half hours, I will hug my son and kiss his cheek, while I try not to cry in front of his new "housemates". I'll be brave and "the cool mom" while I joke about him not ever wanting to come home again once he gets a taste of campus living. I'll crack jokes about him finding his way to the laundry room and the kitchen (and they are not, as he believes, only at his grandparents house). I'll remind him that email is a good thing and writing home once a week better happen if he wants spending money. Like my dad told me, no letter, no money.
I'll ask him if he's got his schedule (which he won't). I'll remind him where his password is hidden and to check his college email more often.
I'll make sure he's picked up his books and gotten his reading finished for his LSEM class that starts before the upperclassmen return.
I'll tease him about not being able to get books on tape to help with his classes knowing all the while he'll keep looking for them because surely there are books on tape for the sight impaired.
I'll remind him that you can't cram for your exams and quizzes (despite the fact that we all did and all kids will continue testing those bounderies).
I'll remind him to brush his hair more often (despite the fact he doesn't want to because he doesn't want girls to look at him). He only wants one girl looking at him and he'll brush it when she comes to visit or he comes home. (His words!)
And when I'm done being a real geeky mom, when I have delayed my departure as long as I can, I turn to my sweet son and I'll watch him stand a little taller. I'll watch him grow up a little bit despite himself, and I'll watch him come give his poor sappy momma another hug. He'll hug me hard and he'll tell me everything will be fine and he'll see me in a couple weeks.
In about 51 and a half hours, I'll get into my car with my sweet little boy, who will also be crying because his best friend is staying at Longwood, and we'll hug each other. We'll start the engine and buckle up, we'll wave good bye through the windows as we put the car in gear and drive away.
In 51 and a half hours, a new world begins for my child and for our family. In 51 and a half hours I watch my man/child through my rear view mirror as I drive away and lose about 10 pounds as I cry my way to my dad's house in Richmond. And I'll know he's got a tear in his eyes too.