He's too smart for me. When I asked which car we would be taking he quickly said both so that I wouldn't be stuck at Ole Miss and he wouldn't have to bring me home.
Later as I was following him up the interstate ramp it seemed strange that he could even drive. All of a sudden I had this feeling that he shouldn't be old enough to drive.
Even later when we were amongst what felt like millions of people attempting to move into the same place he turned to me, gave me a hug and said, "I love you."
"I love you, too, Slater, but I have to make up your bed, help you get the rest of your stuff out of your car...I'm not leaving now, am I?"
"Mom, I can take care of it. I've got this."
He walked me out the door, toward the elevator and we waited as I said, "Slater, you're killing me. I can't help you do anything? What about the bursar's office? Have you got your checkbook?" I knew he didn't because I had put it in my purse right before we left.
"I can do it, Mom. I have my debit card."
"You don't have the invoice." Something else I had stuck in my purse.
"They won't need it."
We were grinning at each other the whole way back to the parking lot with me amazed at how well he played defense against my need to take care of one more thing for him, to prove in some way that I was still his Mom. I finally stopped on the sidewalk before turning to go to my car and said, "Slater."
He turned around and gave me a wonderful, warm, sweet hug and within it I explained, "Slater, I love you so much. And I know without a doubt you're going to kick their ass. You show 'em what you can do, baby."
And then, "I'll see you everyday after I drive down here from work."
"No, you won't."
We laughed and parted ways. I got one last glance of him before I got in my car and headed back home. The home I bought because he wanted trees.