will's shoes

I drove my son to the airport this morning for his first solo flight.

We got there early.

With my gate pass, I was able to go through security with him.

Even though he didn’t need me to.

At the newsstand, I treated him to overpriced gourmet dried apples, gum and Tic Tacs.

Then we sat together. Not saying much.

But we played some pinball on his iPad.

And when he was busy concentrating, I stared long and hard at his face.

Before they called his row number, I had my talk with him.

Remember who you are. Where you come from. And be safe.

I couldn’t help myself. A mother’s prerogative.

And then it was time for him to go.

I stood in line with him until I couldn’t any more.

He hugged me, towering over me by seven inches.

My 15 year-old man child.

I said, “I love you.”

And he gave the agent his boarding pass.

I watched him walk down the gangway, telepathically imploring him to turn around for one last look.

And he did.

I walked back to the parking garage with my head down. So people wouldn’t see my watering eyes.

He’s gone for a month. And he couldn’t wait to go.

I’m happy for him. And happy for me that he’s independent enough to easily do this.

I just wish it was easier for me.