Peanut turns eighteen next April, graduates high school in June and leaves for college in August. His adulthood will roar in like a lion. And he'll be off to new adventures... if he gets his wish, it'll be to savannas far away.
My kingdom will be short by one prince. As each milestone or holiday or family event passes, I catch myself thinking how it'll be the last all my children will be home. The change that will soon come may be more impactful for those of us remaining behind. We'll feel the missing piece - the missing person. Sure, in this digital time, Peanut will only be a call or text away but he won't be part of our daily life.
I'm mourning the end even as I'm celebrating the beginning. Helping Peanut complete college applications was bittersweet. Then I ordered his cap and gown, and his announcements. That's when reality hit and I couldn't help but think of all the things I'd never taught him. Doing laundry, managing a bank account, sending mail and cooking a few basics were added to my agenda. Now I'm squeezing in as many teachable moments as possible.
We're making memories. Peanut has already begun pulling away. He's as independent and surly as any high school senior should be. Still, I'm grasping onto the times when we're all together. The foundation has already been built... that's what I've been doing since he was born. Now is the time to foster his appreciation for the bonds of family. I want him to have happy memories to look back on even as he heads off to his future.
Letting him go, or writing the words THE END on his childhood may just be the most difficult to write.