I've built a kind of shell in my loft, I guess, consisting of boxes of stuff I may never use again. What I wore when I weighed less than I ever will again. Jesse's clothes, his debate trophies. Baby stuff. Boxes of the boys' father's paintings. His writings. My writings. I seal it up and kick it behind me, but it's not really gone. It's there, only I don't see it. College Nomist (that's what I've taken to calling Jesse's brother) has his own boxes, so I don't feel so bad. He's packing up and leaving to travel around Europe for two months, starting in ten days. I'm terrified. I tried out all those things people say to comfort mothers when their kids leave: plenty of kids who aren't as smart as he is have done this and survived-- but you know? That doesn't really work for me. I said the same thing when Jesse went off to Michigan.
I'm trying not to think about this. I'm happy for him that he will have this experience. I try to think of it this way, of him, later in life, telling someone he's getting to know, "When I was a junior in college, I took a couple of months off and hitchhiked all over Europe and had these adventures...."
But somewhere in the back of my mind is a box marked, what if something goes wrong.