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Summer’s End: Flying Back to School

Mon, 23 Aug 2010, 07:54 AM (-06:00) Creative Commons License

He had an early flight. We left the house before the sun came up, and the three of us (Trudy, his mom and I) drove Ben to the airport to go back to school.

It was wonderful to have him back in town for the summer, of course: nice to eat eggs around the table in the morning, nice to meet at noon for lunch, nice to walk the dog with him in the fields in the evening, to hear his voice and see him smile.

But summer is over, and he’s going back to school.

At the curb, we got out of the car and hugged and said goodbye. He tossed his packs over his shoulders and pulled up the handles on his two suitcases and walked away, looking back over his shoulders and smiling at each of us. The airport doors slid open as he approached, and he went inside, looking back and smiling when his mom shouted goodbye one more time.

Southwest flight #1229 left on time about 30 minutes ago, and he should be changing planes in Chicago in a few hours. He’s probably looking out the window watching Arkansas go by, thinking about being back at Oberlin. No, what am I saying? He’s sleeping right now, because he was up late last night packing.

No need for tears this time: he had a great summer, and he’s so excited by be going back that he can barely stand it. Still there’s an empty place in my heart that feels a little like it used to feel when I would return to Houston on Sunday evenings, driving down Cattle Drive, flailing my arm out the window and watching him in the rear-view mirror as he waved goodbye.

And I sometimes secretly wish that he wasn’t going to school so far away.

© jumpingfish by David Hasan is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License