The Boy is Leaving


Well, this is gonna be sad – Siri started crying while I was dictating drafts.  Just warning you ahead of time if you don’t like that kind of thing.

She doesn’t.  That’s why She’s been acting like it’s just another week. Making dumb jokes about having to do all the heavy stuff in the garden this spring. Getting on The Boy about getting his stuff in totes and still pretending like he has a curfew anymore.  She’s even been measuring his room as Her new office if you can believe it.  Bookshelves and everything.

Talk about avoidance techniques.  But She’s got an English dad – She was trained in the art of Stiff Upper Lip since she could walk.  I’d call Her cold-hearted but I caught Her staring at The Boy over dinner two nights ago, and Her eyes were definitely filled with what She and the rest of her clan call ‘salty discharge’ and normal people call ‘tears.’

Meanwhile He (definitely the softer of the two, God help Him) has clammed up in the spirit of his USMC training and interrupts that only to comment on the various ways that the kid is going to get his butt handed to him in boot camp.

The Boy is leaving.

It’s happening.

It’s happening today.

He’s United States Air Force bound, and maybe They’re all acting like everything’s fine because They knew it was going to happen for seventeen years.  He’s been obsessed with airplanes since he was two.

So that’s all well and good for Them – They’ve had some years to absorb this total nightmare.  I’m only on my fifth year on this planet and all of them involved this tall blonde kid that let me sleep in a duvet burrow next to his feet all night and took me on dump runs if I whined loud enough.

I’m losing my best friend.  We’re sorta equal on the pecking ladder around here, and bearing in mind that The Girl doesn’t like me very much (she’s into big soft dogs – whatever), I’m going to be at a bit of a loose end for bed partners.

When he goes, he’s gone.  Instant adulthood and all that.  No leave for the next eight months, and you know damn good and well that he’ll spend like all of one night here when he finally gets some.  Even if they’ve got an awesome dog, do you hang with your parents or your friends when you’re nineteen?


I’m a little verklempt.  Talk amongst yourselves.




By | 2018-02-28T16:53:57+00:00 March 5th, 2018|

About the Author:

Explorer. Varmint hunter. Dirt chaser. Dog.


  1. curioussteph March 5, 2018 at 2:29 pm - Reply

    Sorry for your loss, Mungo. Do you need a kitten?

    • Marianne Willburn March 5, 2018 at 4:16 pm - Reply

      With three here already, probably not 🙂

  2. Anne Kelly March 5, 2018 at 4:36 pm - Reply

    Please pass our gratitude on to your son, Marianne. And to you who raised him, our thanks as well. We are a family of veterans and veteran service providers and know how much all of your contributions mean. At least we have gardening as therapy, no? 😉

    • Marianne Willburn March 7, 2018 at 1:38 pm - Reply

      Thank you Anne –

  3. Denise March 5, 2018 at 6:25 pm - Reply

    I believe the Air force is the best branch of the military. I was just at Sheppard AFB in Dec. witnessing my nephew get his wings pinned on him. Good luck in this transition. Enjoy that new office!

    • Marianne Willburn March 7, 2018 at 1:53 pm - Reply

      Thanks Denise – I talked to a woman at the Philadelphia Flower Show yesterday who referred to her time in the Air Force as “30 beautiful years” – she set my heart to rest.

  4. Susan Peterson March 5, 2018 at 6:59 pm - Reply

    All of you have my sympathies, She most of all. There’s nothing easy about this transition for those left at home. I certainly understand why Mungo was given the job of telling this story. 😢

  5. idavidsinha March 7, 2018 at 11:16 am - Reply


  6. Tammy March 19, 2018 at 1:09 pm - Reply

    Congratulations to your son! Mom, you have much to be proud of!!

Leave A Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.