See how complicated my life is???
Aside from trying to keep all of this straight, I'm suffering from an extreme case of not wanting to let go. I know, I know, anyone in my family reading this right now is shaking his head in disbelief, since I'm the one who hangs the American flag to celebrate the first day(s) of school each fall. But this year, my middle child is starting his senior year in high school. Which means that in exactly one year from now, he'll be leaving me. Forever. This is the only one of my three children who cried on the first day of Kindergarten because he didn't want me to leave (the other two wanted to drive themselves, and when I insisted on taking them and walking into the classroom with them, it was all they could do not to say, "See ya, Mom, and don't let the door hit you on the way out.")
As weird as this sounds, Middle Child has been a kind of security blanket for me. My first born was the first baby in our family -- first grandchild, first nephew, first everything. Everyone wanted a piece of him. By the time, my middle child came along, there were lots of babies to cuddle, so I had him all to myself and he preferred it that way. He is the child who always made me look good, insisting on staying by my side any time we went out in public, quiet and soft spoken. He is so loyal to me and my sensitivities. His very presence has always been a comfort to me, from the time I still had him with me when older child went to school, to camp, and finally to college, and to our cross country trip together when he helped me drive or stayed awake the entire time I was doing the driving.
There is something about this boy, that the thought of him going off to school, far away, just makes me well up and want to sob all day. Today, he is heading off to the mall to buy some school supplies, and he looked at me just a little weird when I begged to go along and promised him a Happy Meal at McDonald's. (Although the free lunch did have him hesitate for just a split second).