That old blue ford truck pulled out around 3:30 this afternoon.
It was packed full of clothes and buckets filled up completely with just what you’d need if you were a sophomore in college.
We’ve had that truck for 15 years.
I vaguely remember him sitting on the passenger side buckled into a booster seat.
Now he’s packed it full of all of his stuff, plus what his brother forgot, and he’s sitting there at the wheel. Still stubborn about the soft flannel Christmas pillowcases he has to sleep with and the feel of the blanket that will cover the mattress of his college dorm twin bed. “It doesn’t match,” I explain to him for the upteenth time. “I don’t care if it matches, Mom, I just care how it feels.”
Before he left we took down the bunk beds and rearranged the furniture …we put the house back to the way things used to be. I still think it’s crazy how we went from 6 kids down to 1 in 6 weeks. Four in college. One in Indiana. Just Grace now at home. Somehow life got quiet.
You know, it’s funny how you don’t take first day of school photos when your kids go off to college.
I have nothing to document the change that has taken place over the last few weeks.
No darling outfits, kids smiling next to the brick sign that stands in front of the school, no new backpacks or unscuffed shoes, no waiting for the bus, or packing lunches into brown paper sacks. Just the taillights of that old blue truck as it paused for just a second before turning left there at the corner and heading off to school.
I can’t help but wonder what this new season will hold…both for him, and for me.
“To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: a time to break down, and a time to build up; a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to embrace… a time to keep…a time to love…a time of peace…” (Eccl 3:1-8)
And this past season? I told someone yesterday that I think this has been one of my favorite summers of my whole life.
This gathering together.
The late nights, snacks at all hours of the day, settling into the couches to talk. Card games, and coconut rice krispies, and walking to Lucky’s for a snowcone. Could you make us crepes, make us tacoes, make us some bananas foster? Midnight came too soon and the responsibility of morning shortly after. Yes, we soaked up every single minute. Every. Single. Minute.
Oh, the memories.
In this new season those fresh memories take the place of first day of school photos. They are memories I will hang on the walls of my mind for the quiet moments. So I can look back at them.
I watched that blue truck pull out today, saw him pause there at the corner almost as if he was getting his bearings, and then he was off. And me? I turned and walked inside surrounded by the memories…
A Daily Invitation
“Hang on the walls of your mind the memory of your successes. Take counsel of your strength, not your weakness. Think of the good… you have done. Think of the times when you …carried out… a dream or a desire for which you had deeply longed. Hang these pictures on the walls of your mind and look at them as you travel the roadway of life.”