Nathaniel's Sunday School teacher from last year gave me an old questionnaire she had given them. (And you know how we all love those.) One of the questions was "What do you like most about yourself?" Kind of a weird question, right? Nathaniel's answer was just so fitting. He wrote, "I'm hilarious."
There are things that he says that just kill me though frankly they can be disturbing let your imagination wander. Like the other day when some guy came through the Taco Bell drive thru cursing and honking and screaming and Nathaniel turned to his boss as he drove away and said, "Gosh, I hope that guy doesn't get into a car crash, catch on fire, and then burn alive."
I also think it's cute that his non-member boss chastises him for it. "You can't say that kind of stuff! You're going on a mission!"
When our Lithuanian boys were here I bought whole milk because we drink nonfat and foreigners usually find that pretty disgusting. I had a couple of gallons left over. Nathaniel was all over that and wanted to know what was so different about it from our usual milk. I told him there was basically more fat. "No Mom," he corrects me, "this milk is from angel cows."
I have visions of cows with wings blushing under Nathaniel's flattery.
We got his flight itinerary on Friday. His flight for Mexico leaves at 6am from the SLC airport. That means we need to get up by 3am and say goodbye to him in a blur of exhausted emotion. He has a layover for a couple of hours in Dallas and then is off to Mexico. I don't love that he won't have a cell phone so I can text him to find out if he got there safely or if he met up with whoever is there to greet him. Bottom line I guess is I won't have any more control over what is happening to him.
It occurs to me I've come to the end of my most influential time as his mother. No more spontaneous moments of having him walk in and ask for advice, which I can now freely admit I pretended to be all casual-like and keep wiping down the counters when I'm really thinking, "Everyone stop what you're doing and take notice!!" My teenage boy is asking me for advice and appears to be listening!!"
He'll have to figure out things all by himself for the next two years and then he'll come back and be all independent and grown up. (Well, mostly. I mean, do we ever feel "grown-up?")
Of course I want all these things for him. This is the way it is supposed to be. Kids grow up. They move on. I know that.
I'm just really going to miss him and his hilarious self.