The notation on the calendar stares at me like a flashing neon sign on a Vegas hotel: Corey to Clarkson. All month long it has been there, a looming deadline that seemed to be approaching far faster than I care for. Every summer I'm taken by how July, with it's hot, lazy days can seem to last for so long and yet August goes speeding by in the wink of an eye. How having that first day of school on the calendar makes the last weeks a blur of getting ready and trying to fit in last minute vacations and trips and lounging about. If I could, I would push a pause button and stay here for a while. Right here, with this last week laid out before us, and let it drag on for just a bit longer. I would fit in some hiking trips and adventures in the woods. I would plan for movies with bowls of buttery popcorn. I would attempt to have the conversations that are brewing in my heart, but afraid to come to the surface. I would try to impress the images of him, sitting there at his desk into my brain, so when it is sitting there all year empty, I can remember our summer sharing a space together and how much I enjoyed it even when he drove me a little crazy.
As this last week looms before us, there is packing to do and sorting to get through. His room looks like a hurricane blew through it, although that's not really any different from how it normally looks. He has received his fall schedule and his roommate assignment and has already informed me that he's not thrilled that we are planning on coming up for family weekend in October. I like to think that we have given him what he needs to go out into the world, confident and strong, but I know that in many ways we have failed, both him and ourselves. Despite that, he is ready, perhaps even a little bit more ready than I am. Next Friday, when we head out with all of his things packed into the van, I will do my best to leave my worries at home. To not ask all those dorky questions that will make him crabby and shut down. To enjoy the long ride, and our time together while we have it. On Saturday afternoon, when I have to leave him there, I will not make a deal if he won't hug me goodbye, as he hasn't hugged me in more years than I can even remember, but I already told The Boy™ that he has to drive home. I won't be able to see very well through the tears.