In about fifteen minutes, we'll pile into the car and begin the journey to take Ryan to school. I don't plan to be online while we're gone, though I may update the usual mobile places if I'm inspired.
About halfway through the day yesterday, I knew it was going to be a tough one. Anne came out of the back of the house, eyes red, and told me she'd been crying pretty much nonstop since she woke up. I did slightly better until late last night, when I stood in Ryan's empty bedroom, and realized that not only is he going away to college, but he's really on his way to being a successful adult, and this is his first big step in that direction. I'm so proud of him, and I'm proud of myself and Anne for raising a son who not only wants to be successful, but is willing to do whatever it takes to get there.
I'm also sad for myself, because I'm going to miss him so very much. I love Ryan because he is my son (not biologically, but in every way that matters), but I also love the person he's become. I like hanging out with him, and I'm going to miss seeing him every day. I'm going to miss playing Guitar Hero with him, claiming victory if he wins without doubling my score. I'm going to miss watching Twilight Zone and Outer Limits and Futurama and Heroes. I'm going to miss going to the mall to get a perfectly tiny scoop of sorbet so he can laugh at me.
Despite all of the sadness I feel about him leaving, I am genuinely and overwhelmingly excited for him. We have waited for this day for as long as I can remember. This will not be easy, but I'm confident that he's up to the challenge. Since he was a little boy, we've believed in him, encouraged him, and supported him more than anyone else in his life. Anne and I have given him the tools he needs to succeed, and he just has to learn how to use them.
Someone pointed out to me that, even though he's going to be a million miles away, thanks to technology, he'll feel much closer to us than we felt to our parents when we went away at his age. We have MacBooks and iChat A/V, we have cell phones and text messages and e-mail, and that's going to make it easier on all of us, I think.
But I also have an empty bedroom in my house, and that's going to take a lot of getting used to.