Monday, September 19, 2005

He is Not Mine Anymore

When Lucas went off to college, it wasn't so bad. He even put on his internet profile some remark I had made that his Mother did not miss him. What I actually meant was that I wasn't as devastated as I thought I'd be. But today is different.

Yesterday morning, the front door was open. The air was cool and we could see lights across the dark water. At 5:30 AM in the middle of September, the sun had not yet come up. Dave was sitting on the front steps waiting for Lucas and me. The backpacks and suitcase were in the car with new red and white Canadian maple leaf flag patches sewn on the flaps. I love my country but the world does not so it was recommended that all American T-shirts be left at home. Lucas and his friend Denny who is off to Italy had their Moms do a little sewing to help deflect American identity.

As I walked out of my bedroom into the fresh coolness of the entry way, the tears tumbled down my cheeks when I saw the shadows. Lucas was on the floor in the dark family room whispering to his puppy. Apolo's head was in his lap; he was too sleepy to understand what was happening. How can a boy tell his dog good bye? How can a boy explain that he will not be here to throw him sticks or to take him hiking for another year? "I'm glad he is stupid! He'll forget me tomorrow."

Lucas's humor always has a way of diffusing negative situations. Like the night before at dinner---Kaley has been so sad for the fourth year in a row that no boy has asked her to the Homecoming Dance. I never know how to comfort her because she is so beautiful and talented, I do not understand why myself. Lucas very matter of factly told her boys are probably terrified of her and there are only two reasons boys ask girls to a prom anyway:

1) Because they are good friends and they get roped into it just because the girls just want to get "all pretty and everything and get a fancy dress" or
2) they want "you know!" and they think they'll get "you know"

And then Lucas declared that the dances mean nothing and you forget about them in college anyway. Period. Don't worry about stupid things. He has such a way with his little sister and he can say things to her that I could never say. But, when he figuratively slaps her and tells her to "snap out of it" like in that movie "Moonstruck", it works.

Our family will miss this terrific young man as he studies at the University of Rennes in France. Lucas was the easiest child a Mom could ever have. I want to keep him but I can't because he is grown now. When he went off to Missoula, I felt like I had thrown him like a frisbee out into the world but only a little ways. He wasn't far from his Grandma. And I'd get him back every few weeks. But today is different. He is gone. And I am just devastated.

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Lucas 10, "Jed" 8, and Kaley 7
Jed's last trip to the beach before he died of cancer in 1995.