1 day. Tomorrow our baby turns 18. That's impossible, right? It was just yesterday that he graduated high school. It was just yesterday that he played his last high school football game. It was just yesterday that he joined track. It was just yesterday that he ran the bases. It was just yesterday that he went to the petting zoo. It was just yesterday that he was born.
26 days. In 26 days there is a mandatory high school football meeting that means absolutely nothing to us any longer. A little piece of my heart is torn because of that.
27 days. In 27 days, my husband won't know what to do with himself after work. His old normal would be heading to the field to watch practice. His new normal will be something decidedly different.
31 days. In 31 days we will go back to our happiest place on earth and spend the weekend decompressing after a busy summer, and relaxing before college picks up.
36 days. In 36 days we will drive our youngest to college. We'll pack up his clothes and TV. His Xbox, his books, and his football. His laundry detergent, cases of water and Gatorade and enough Pop Tarts and beef jerky to get him through two-a-days. He'll go to the same college his brother went to, take completely different classes, have day after day of football practice that lead into Saturday games, study Chemistry and in his own words "blow shit up", and join a fraternity where he is a legacy.
37 days. In 37 days we may swing by the high school football field to watch the scrimmage for the new season.
47 days. In 47 days, our oldest will finish his minor, to add to his major. He wants to teach and coach at the middle school level...he also wants to design and build things. We'll see which path sticks.
47.5 days. In 47.5 days, we'll do one of two things. Jump for joy that they are both settled, or cry like babies because they are gone. (Your guess on which one of us does each). Will we also stare at each other and not have anything to say? Will it become the new normal? Will my husband really embark on the new naked room in the house? (Sorry kids!) Will I have time to write another book or finish my photography book? Will we go on vacation alone? Will we stop running out of milk, toilet paper, paper towel, bottled water?
52 days. In 52 days, our youngest will be playing at the collegiate level in the scrimmage that leads into the season. We'll be there with smiles on our faces, and provisions in the truck.
59 days. In 59 days we'll travel to the first away game of many. We'll sit in the stands and cheer from the sidelines. I'll take pictures and try to capture these moments.
91 days. In 91 days we'll be married 24 years. It seems like just yesterday he asked me to marry him. Or even the day of, standing in the vestibule at Holy Apostles, where my father took my hand, looked me in the eye and said "Are you sure? The car is parked right outside the door. We can leave now." (Side note, we've been together for 28, so in my mind it's really 28 years of marriage.)
103 days. In 103 days it will be fall break. I have no idea when we will see either of our boys. One can only hope they end up at home.
131 days. In 131 days is the final regular season game. Yet another season that will go by too fast.
137 days. In 137 days the crew will head out for deer hunting season. Unless the team makes playoffs. Then will we adjust on the fly.
5 1/2 months. In 5 1/2 months, first semester will be done. Our youngest will be tired, our oldest relieved. We'll be leading into Christmas and our annual family vacation.
2017 is right around the corner. Another year will go by way too fast. Our kids are grown and nearly out on their own. I will still worry about them, and ask they call or text when they get somewhere they are going. They will call when they advice, or are homesick. I'll watch for those texts that say "I love you" or "hi mom" or "I aced that test mom!) (HINT HINT BOYS!). All a parent can ask for is that they are safe, healthy and happy (and that they make good choices). And hope that once in a while they come back for a visit. Remember, boys, there is no place like home.