The Boy left for college in August 2003.
Summer 2004 was spent working in Manteo, North Carolina. He went straight there from school and had less than a week home in August before returning to school.
Summer 2005 was spent working in Bigfork, Montana. Again, straight from school and his schedule allowed no time at home before classes began again in late August.
Summer 2006 approaches. And this year? This year he surprised the hell out of us by accepting a job in Charlottesville. Virginia. That's right. Just two hours southeast of home. Add gravy: it's only a nine-week gig. Then he's coming home for over a month.
We raise our children to hopefully be independent adults. We urge them to take chances, follow their hearts, work hard, dream big. Not all of them leave the nest with enthusiasm. Ours did. That's when my split personality kicked in. And don't bother denying it, we all have split personalities. I'm told a good Southern woman is trained to hide the splits in public. But behind closed doors, all bets are off.
Fragment One cheers, "Whoo hoo! He's working hard, loving where he is and what he does!"
Fragment Two wails, "Waaaaaa! He couldn't wait to leave home and get away from us!"
Then there's Fragment One Point Five. Well no. It's closer to Fragment One Point Two Five. It resides squarely in the realm of missingness and reality. I've grown accustomed to Personality Fragment One Point Two Five. It fits.
The Boy has had logical, sound reasons for selecting each of his summer jobs. But, selfishly, this time I do not completely care what his rationale is. After the year our family has had, I am savoring the fact he will be nearby and then home for an extended period.
Equally uplifting is that he seems to be looking forward to being home.