I want to whine like a four year old. I just do. That's how I feel. I have a sing song in my head. "G...o....d (two syllables) , he's doing it again" . I feel the need to tattle on my oldest son. You see he is moving out again, probably for the last time and taking a piece of my heart with him. Today it feels like the most tender piece. Last week he bought three suits, a new car and rented a house. Uh oh, I see it coming.... again! Now, when he left for college I thought I wouldn't survive the separation. The difference this time is, that I know I will. I will survive to endure every inch of the 3 miles that will separate us. I adjusted last time. I got used to seeing him on occasional weekends and holidays and summer breaks. I tricked my heart into thinking he was just gone between the times he was home. Like summer camp, I told myself. He was gone, and then would be back. That got me through for a while. We believed he would never live under our roof again, that the family home was forever changed. We adjusted. Then he graduated from college and moved back home. That brought frowns to some outsiders of course. A young man with a college education should be out on his own, supporting himself. "He needs his own space and so do you" they would say. I agreed with them on the outside. On the inside I thought, "but just a little more time." Publicly I would complain about his room and laundry. Privately I thrilled at the familiar cadence of his steps upstairs and the very specific gallop he uses when he descends the stairs in the morning leaving for work. When he used to descend the stairs in the morning. This morning was the last morning. He moves his bed to the new place tonight. Which means when I rise early tomorrow morning, my quiet time will not be intruded upon by his gallop. I mean, I will be uninterrupted by the rhythmic steps of my first born because his steps will have moved on. I should have recorded that, darn it. I missed the last chance for that this morning. He punctuates his dissension with "hey mama". I think I need that to start my day out right. There is a list you know, of things that should happen each morning to get things started just right. The taste of the first cup of hot coffee, the weight of my bible on my lap, the turning of pages of the newspaper by my husband near by, and the gallop of my first born. I know the sound of the steps of the other two as well. They each have their own distinguishing cadence, but today the gallop is what I will miss. The new place doesn't have stairs, I hope he doesn't forget how to do it. I told him last night I was happy for him. Mother's are just by necessity, split personalities. We have to be. We have to speak blessing over them as they grow and encourage them, while all the time wanting to halt them from moving on. We want both. We wouldn't deny them the satisfaction of independence, but....Ouch. It takes me back to how enthusiastically we encouraged them to take their first steps. If I had looked far enough ahead to this day, I think I would have let him crawl a bit longer. So, go son, with our blessing. I mean it, no I don't, yes I do, no I don't...just don't forget the gallop.