I Imagine Our Minivan Rattling Emptily All the Way Home.

Today is the first day of school for my boys. Maybe I have mentioned it before. It is Dylan’s first day of high school, and Shane’s first day of middle school.

If the transition is tough for them, I can hardly tell. They enjoyed orientation last week. Neither of them wants to go to school, but they are already talking about the friends they want to see, places they want to go with these friends, things they want to do. In other words, like they do every year, they are leaving me again.

I think sometimes that having kids is the hardest thing I’ve ever done. It is by far the most rewarding, most engaging, most fun and most exciting thing I’ve ever done, too. I wouldn’t change it for the world.

But I think, almost every day, about the day they will leave for college. Because he’s the first, Dylan’s leaving will be unbearable. And because he’s the last, Shane’s leaving will be unbearable. If I have a hard time with middle and high school, I can only imagine my displeasure when they go to college.

I imagine Dylan standing at the curb, waving. I imagine leaning out the window and yelling one last bit of advice: “If you are craving potato chips, eat a banana!”

(Often a potato chip craving means that one needs more potassium. A banana is loaded with potassium, so eating a banana is a healthy way to help alleviate that particular craving.)

Of course, Dylan doesn’t even like potato chips, so I’m not sure why that would be my last word of advice.

Shane, however, loves potato chips. Maybe I should start feeding him more bananas now.

I can’t even imagine dropping off Shane at college. I try to imagine him waving from the curb, but he didn’t even say goodbye to me on his first day of preschool. He surely didn’t wave – or cry, like I did, in the car all the way home.

I imagine dropping off Shane at college, unloading the car – carrying the heavy stuff up three flights of stairs. I imagine dropping the last box in Shane’s room and him looking at me saying, “Okay, bye,” then running off to explore the campus with his new roommate.

I imagine watching him dash down the hall, then turning to Bill and saying, “Well, I guess we can go.”

I imagine our minivan rattling emptily all the way home.

For now, it’s just middle school and high school. But I can feel it coming like a tsunami on my heart.


  1. Kirsten says:

    I love my minivan. I think it’s a VW bus from the sixties.

  2. Lorrie says:

    My advise, get rid of the minivan! A nice car doesn’t rattle as much & you’ll enjoy driving it a lot more.

  3. Janet Moore says:

    Don’t worry. They keep coming back.

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