Birthdays and Milestones

As of today, I am no longer the mother of a teenager. My baby turns 20 just after 8am today. You’ve come a long way, baby, since that day in Jacksonville.

He returned to school last night and will celebrate his birthday back in Tallahassee. His bedroom here is stripped of everything he brought home just over a month ago…well, everything except some batteries, a lone sock and a pair of shorts that he intentionally ditched.

He packed his car with clean and folded laundry, his box fan which goes where he goes, his XBox, his video games and that rotten, adorable 35 lb. puppy who provided us with frustration and much happiness over these last weeks. I made it through the driveway goodbye routine with tears welling but none dropped onto my cheeks until he was a house or two down the street. Much improved. Go me!!    I used to give him a quick peck and dash into the house before he could even start up the car; unable to speak~ much less tell him “I love you”.   Of course, that resulted in my panicking right after he left because what if he would be involved in a car accident and my last words weren’t “I love you”!

Thank God for cell phones and the ability to send a text. (Yes, I completely see the irony of him reading an “I love you” text while on the road. Mothers make no sense.)

There are some things about Nick and Roscoe heading back north that will result in some simplicity here at home, though. For instance, I won’t have to be super quiet at 5:15am anymore. I can happily unload the dishwasher or do laundry with no hesitation. Why I look forward to that is highly questionable.

I won’t have to watch basketball anymore. Nick, you know I love me some sports…but basketball is just a bunch of squeaking on wooden floors. I tried to embrace it throughout the playoffs but I have failed to conjure up any love for it. Fall and football cannot come quickly enough for me.

I’m going to save money on cheese sticks and Gatorade. I’ve never seen anything like it ~ Sargento Cheese and gallons of neon liquid. Can one survive on that? Apparently so.

I won’t get yelled at because I haphazardly chose a 3mm guard to shave his head instead of a #3 guard. My bad ~ apparently the difference is about an inch and, judging from the look on Nick’s face, that’s one very substantial inch!

We won’t get to babysit the granddog anymore, though. I won’t get to hear Nick complain about how boring Tampa is. I won’t get to take Nick and Danielle (his girlfriend) for sushi every week. I won’t have to break up Roscoe and Wally when playing turns to hostile dog standoffs and I won’t have to feed my dogs in the bedroom so Roscoe doesn’t end up eating 3 meals in 1.

I loved the chaos of their time at home. I hate the silence that is left behind.

I love that he was here for awhile and I love that he loves FSU as his “home away from home”.

I love that he’s getting more independent and I wince at the thought of it ~ all in the same moment. Whether I’m ready or not for his launch into adulthood, he is.

As of today, I am no longer the mother of a teenager. As of today, that boy of ours is 20. Wow, Nick ~ it was an amazing 20 years………..here’s to another 80! I love you and wish you the happiest of birthdays!!!

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