MOM, Send Care Packages

We dropped them off for camp. The college, ornate and pristine, with floors already polished, as if school will start tomorrow. Tucked away in a hidden, busy part of town, this college was once my client. As we drove past the entrance to the administrative buildings, I tried hard to imagine myself here, twenty years ago, dressed in black, to discuss media relations. The boys didn’t exist then — so my mind functioned in an entirely different frequency; ¬†almost as if there are two of me — the one before four boys, and the one after. So, as we drive by, I silently try to imagine myself as the other me walking into that building, ready for work. I try to imagine myself as a person who doesn’t have her heart deposited in four different, disparate places at once.

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Jolted back to reality, we checked the boys in, and I marveled at the camp’s decision to bunk the boys together, in the same dorm. If I had known beforehand, I would have only packed one tube of toothpaste. ¬† I made their beds, worried about the fact that the bed is awfully high up, with no rails, and if they would fall out of bed, because Fun Size is afraid of heights, so the littles one is on top. I considered moving the mattress on the floor, but was quickly vetoed by all the “men.” I folded their clothes, and the oldest brother explained how a dorm room works — how important it is to hang their wet towels flat, carefully explaining the horrible smell that comes from hanging a wet towel bunched up on a hook.

As we left, they called back to me, “Send Care Packages.”

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And that night I wondered how they were doing in that big, empty dorm, and was glad that my heart only had to be divided one time that night — that the boys had each other in that big, empty dorm.

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