So Sean turned seventeen last week. On Wednesday to be exact. How can seventeen years go by so fast? I remember the day of his birth to the second. Of course, considering his birth damn near killed me, I guess that's not so hard to believe. But I also remember most of his toddlerhood. Not that I've forgotten CJ's or Lu's, just that Sean has always been a memorable character. And he was sooo cute. Chubby little apple cheeks and light blonde curls. Stubborn and precocious even at three. Some things never change. He lost the chubby cheeks and his hair darkened considerably but the stubborn and precocious took up residence. We celebrated his birthday Friday night when the kids all came home from camp. Steaks and shrimp on the grill, twice baked potatoes, mushrooms sauteed in butter & garlic and crescent rolls with an amazing (and store bought) cake for dessert. It was a good night.
Then yesterday dawns and Sean and Lu and I get ready to head to town. We've decided to breakfast at Panera and then Lu has to work and Sean & I will head to the Mart of Walls to pick up a few last minute items on his list. He has to be in Keokuk by 4 to leave on his trip. When we walk outside to leave I notice that Sean's eyes are puffy and red. His dad mentions it too. Sean says they're itchy and he took benadryl, he just figures its because he hasn't been around the cats much. I'm dubious but let it go. By the time we get to Panera his cheeks are also suspiciously red (they always turned apple red when he was allergic to something as a little kid). I mention it and he says that yes, the itching is getting worse. I make a call to his doctors office but they are gone so we scarf breakfast and head to the ER. By the time we get there you can watch the hives popping out on his skin and his chest is getting tight. Thankfully, they rush us back to a room. The doctor comes in orders a breathing treatment and shots. One steroid and one benadryl. Thankfully, they all work. If not, added to the ER expense would have been the $1700 dollars we paid for his trip. Not cool. Not to mention his disappointment at missing out.
After we left the ER we ran to Walmart, got his stuff and sped home. Shower, pack the backpack and speed to Keokuk. We made it with two minutes to spare. There was a lot of preparation before loading the two buses and I got the rare opportunity of seeing my baby in action. The words "born leader" come to mind. He's efficient, in charge and the other boys listen to him. And I know you're all thinking I'm totally biased, but I could so get affidavits from other people (not related to him) who would say the same thing. I am so proud.
Finally, the load the buses. Sean and the other leadership core are the last to board of course. I sneak in one last hug and turn to one of the other mothers and confess that I think I might cry. Yes, I know he's seventeen. Yes, I know he's responsible and independent. Yes, I know he'll have the time of his life. But he's still my baby. And I've never been separated from him for two weeks before. Worrying about him? Well it's kind of a job requirement and damn it, I'm good at it. I ask another mother if she's worried about her son and she replies "No. Sean will take of him."
So he's off for two weeks to Gettysburg, Fort AP Hill Virginia and the 100th year of Scouting National Jamboree, then on to DC. He's going places I've never been and making memories that will last a lifetime. And I'm at home missing him and knowing that this is the closing chapter in his childhood and the beginning of his adulthood. I have the feeling that one is going to be a real page-turner.
Bon Voyage Baby,