Looking back on this past weekend, I am full of emotion...sadness, wonder of the future, excitement, pride, and...well, joy! You see, my oldest boy moved out of the family home, and into his very own first place. In anticipation of this, my wife made a few purchases, packed some things, laundered every last sock of his she could muster, made sure he had tissues and deodorant, made the brownies, and asked a million questions...did he change over the gas and electrical, did he get the right keys, where will he park, how far from the train, when will you food shop, will your friends be sleeping over?
Although she and I meant well, it seemed that with every question, he was even more anxious to start his life, where he could be the one to ask the questions, and could fall and soar on his own.
Our home is already different. A new energy, a quieter place, a less hectic place...all that will take a bit to get used to. My younger son will miss his big brother...the hardest part for me. I am however enjoying already more space in the garage, less "stuff" left around, the fact that lights are shut off when nobody is in the room, and being able to lock up for the night without waiting for him to come in...I guess it's the little things!
Yesterday, my wife and I began to clean his room. It occurred to me that he took everything he wanted, and left everything his didn't. We looked around the room and my wife said "he is completely unsentimental." He left behind things that WE treasure, but that he must see as dust collectors. Do we toss this stuff, or save it? Well, our head said to toss it, but as often the outcome in this type of question, our hearts won! We packed posters, Reading Rocket jackets, what once were his favorite books, his cap and gown, his college football jersey, even dried out roses he wore on prom night. The attic just got a little smaller.
In my business, I see so often those families who sell a parents house after an illness or death. One of their first questions is "who can I call to come clean out this attic?" So, while I was trucking things to my attic, I wondered if these items will one day be opened and admired, and will serve as a provoker of great memories, or if they will be seen as a burden. I would like to think that my wife is correct in thinking that he will one day be sentimental, and will appreciate the fact that we saved his things.
I remember being on my own for the first time...lets face it...it's a FANTASTIC time in life, so ok...maybe his 6th grade book report wasn't first on his list, but some day, if nothing else, even if and when HE throws all this stuff out, it will serve as a reminder to him that he means the world to us, and that saving those things helps US remember, and will keep him as our little boy for just a little longer.