Ryley is leaving on a school trip today. He will be several states away doing something he loves. I’m happy for him.
Yesterday afternoon, I pulled out a rolling suitcase so I could help pack. I thought about leaving it to him, but changed my mind. I’m glad I did because when I asked him to make a pile of clothes he wanted to take, they were all graphic tees. I believe that would violate not only the school’s dress code, but state and municipal laws. We fleshed out the contents of the bag with the usual suspects, including items that would cover the lower half of his body, the rest of his arms, and something to sleep in. It’s also going to be very cold where he’s going, so he needed to consider goosebump production.
I wanted to keep going, piling extras up on his bed. I wanted to give him advice on socks. I wanted to tell him what to wear to the Friday night mixer and the dinner with other teams. But that goes beyond just packing. Those bits of advice cross the border into interference. I did tell him to not do that thing with his hair after showers. But I’ll never know.
There could be more of these trips in the future, if all goes well. With more travel comes more experience, for him and for me. Eventually, I fully expect him to pack himself. I may always wonder what’s inside, though. And it will never get easier saying goodbye.