Daily prompt: Who was the first person you encountered today? Write about him or her.
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I lie awake in the soft grey dawn, listening.
Is he awake?
There is still enough time before we have to leave for the airport. No need to rush.
Silence. He’s still asleep.
I roll over and doze for a bit.
I awake again and I lie there, listening.
Some time passes while I think of nothing in particular.
I hear the rustle of sheets. Feet across the floor. A drawer opening. He’s up.
I pad downstairs quietly and arrive at his door at the same time that his bedside lights go on.
“You’re awake.” I say, entering the room. “How you doing?”
“Yep. Good.” He doesn’t look up from his magazine. It’s a Lego magazine and he has poured over it so much that it’s pages have become soft and thin. He would explain here, if he were reading this, that it’s actually not just any Lego magazine; it’s the Lord of the Rings Lego magazine.
My sweetheart, I think, looking at him looking at the magazine. I’m going to miss him while he’s away. In two hours, he’ll be getting on a plane, alone, to visit his grandparents in Toronto. He’s done it before. He’ll do it again. But it always leaves a little stab in my heart. I suppose it always will. And this morning, it’s just us, together, alone at home.
I lie down on the bed beside him and he leans over to press his tawny head into my arm, his eyes still not leaving the page he is focusing on.
I smile. I feel like the luckiest person in this moment.
“You excited?” I ask him.
“Yep.” A pause. “You know why I like this set so much?” He provides the answer before I can ask why.
I lie there, letting him talk for a bit, enjoying the sound of his voice. When it is time to get ready, I let him know and we both get up and do what we need to do to get out the door on time.
A couple of hours later, we make our way through the requisite people and desks on our way to the gate. He explains where he’s going to the security people and has them laughing and asking him questions. I buy him a book and a smoothie and he’s called to board almost right away.
I watch his back disappear down the hall toward the plane, a faint “bye Mom!” sort of flung over his shoulder as he chats to the flight attendant who will be taking care of him on the flight.
I think about how I will miss his sweet good-mornings and his frustratingly drawn out good-nights for the next week. And then soon enough, he will be home again, his cheery smile and never-ending chatter filling the house once more.