I can't complain about the mess in the room (mine is worse), and I have yet to figure out which pile of clothes is clean and which is on its way to the laundry. That he can keep this straight continues to amaze me. Somewhere under the books and backpacks, magazines and Sudoku puzzles, I vaguely remember a floor.
The door is open now. Christmas is well and truly over and Son Number Two is back at college, immersed in Physics and fencing, girls and games. Usually there is an attempt on my part to hold back the tears until he's gone through the gate at the airport, but I lost that battle this time, sobbing as though my heart would tear in two, and feeling guilty at the same time because I'm sure it upset him and because I have a friend whose son is fighting in Afghanistan, not going back for his second semester of sophomore year in Cleveland.
I'll go into the room eventually and just wash all the piles left behind since I can't figure out which is which. I'll take the flannel sheets off his bed and replace them with linen since the next time he is home it will be spring and time to throw open the windows. There are plans to surprise him with a couple of new shelves on the wall and perhaps the framed pictures to which he treated himself at the Comic Con convention, an event which I thought was the creation of "The Big Bang Theory" but it turns out it's real. Meanwhile I pat the door each time I go by and whisper a little prayer for his safety and his happiness and his future. He is still my baby, beard and rumbling voice and all, but he is becoming so much more, and I feel as though I have launched a wonderful rocket. I wonder where it will land.