Tickets please

There’s a train fast approaching. Destination, Teenville. Expected time of arrival, nineteen days. My pulse is racing, palms sweaty. I’m not very good at goodbyes. I’ve double checked and triple checked that he has everything he needs.

“Mom, are you okay?”

“Of course, Darling.”

Liar! And I did it with a straight face. I don’t want him to see my angst. I go through the packing list again. Manners. Check. Respect. Check. Social skills. Check. Biblical values. Check. I feel like I’m missing something. I need more time! I’m not ready to let him go. Teenville is a scary place for a first-time mom like myself. I have vivid memories of my time there and right now they’re making me feel physically ill.

Okay, deep breath. It’s not like he’s leaving home, just childhood.

I remember bringing him home from the hospital and laying him beside me on the bed, staring at him and then sobbing. Deep, gut-wrenching sobs as the enormity of the task given to me set in. I cried for about three days and on the fourth accepted the challenge.

Fast forward 4723 days. Not a lot in the greater scheme of things really. But that’s what I’ve had with him. So here we are on the platform waiting for his train. I can hear the conductor’s whistle and before I know it I’ll hear the phrase, “Tickets please.” That’ll be my cue. I’ll kiss him on his cheek and smile through the tears as he courageously boards the carriage. I’ll watch as the train leaves the station, slowly at first but steadily gathering momentum until it rounds the corner, out of sight.

But I still have nineteen days with my (little) boy to ensure he has what he needs. He’s going to be just fine but I think I’ll buy myself a ticket, you know, for just in case.


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