I'm Gonna Miss This

“You only have one more day to bring up your grades.”

I said this as he grabbed a can of evaporated milk from the pantry to pour over sugar sweet strawberries and angel food cake for breakfast.

He laughed and I did too.

“You won’t be saying that for awhile, Mom.”

Smiling, he sat at the bar in his boxers flipping through Twitter while he ate.

I slid the back door open and leaned into the morning air, gave him the weather report, sunny and warm, wet air, and a breeze that seemed to be coming from the west or northwest. It’s hard to tell when you're facing south and the “L” shape of the house swirls the limbs on the pines.

Leaning on the doorframe, I sip my coffee and lingered in the moment.

Lingering in a moment only happens on the eternal clock, because time holds no moments, only memories.

I slip onto the stool beside him. He pays me no mind.

Teary, I rest my elbows on the granite and tell him how proud of him I am. He was focused on the berries. He wouldn’t look at me sensing the emotion sitting next to him, the one he's gone 'round and 'round concerning school.

We call it a draw.

Shaking his head, he laughed again trying to lighten the mood, “Mom, stop it.”

I reached over and hugged my boy, now a man, buried my face in his wet hair, kissed the nape of his neck like I did when he was little, fresh out of the tub.

He didn’t shrug me off, but threatened to “snapchat” a picture of his ridiculous mother. I just held on to the hug. Snapchat away, I was thinking. The disappearing image is certainly a good metaphor for life.

He headed to the sink with the bowl. The dishwasher was empty, but who takes the time to check. He begins his song and sings it loud. He always sings loud. 

“You’re gonna miss this.”

“I miss it already.”

I amen him on every line like I was amening the preacher on a Sunday morning in a church where that kind of affirmation is expected.

“You’re gonna want this back.”

“I already do.”

“You’re gonna wish these days hadn’t gone so fast.”

“Yep, they were way too fast.”

His voice trails off as he heads back to his room to dress for the day before the last day of his senior year. I stood in a puddle in the kitchen in mismatched pajamas and uncombed hair, my nose dripping tears. 

The dress instructions for school per Twitter were to wear a t-shirt from the college you are planning on attending next fall.

Luke put on his Haiti tee, his blue jeans, and his boots.

He is going to the world before he goes to college. They call it a gap year. 

He’ll spend a couple of weeks next winter in Haiti before he heads to Africa, the Middle East, and Asia.

I hear the door open, and he’s out with his salutation of late, “Hasta.”

"Hasta, baby."

Yep, I’m gonna miss this…


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