Dear Son,

It’s been a month now since you married the girl of your dreams, and moved out for good to start your own life. You know how happy I am for you, and how much I love you. I won’t lie, I’m still getting used to you being gone, and most days I miss you so much that it hurts. I’ve stopped the random sobbing outbursts (which your dad and sister are happy about) but I still can’t believe that you don’t live here anymore.

I was starting to feel a bit better, working on adjusting to this new season of life. I felt like I was making some progress.

Then, yesterday happened. 

What was yesterday you ask?

The day I had to clean out your room. 

Remember your room? The four-walled space in our home where all your life belongings were stored? The place where you lounged around all summer, and I kept asking you, “You’re going to clean all this out before you move right?” And you would always respond, “Yes Mother.” I even volunteered to go and get you totes for all your things. Your response? “No Mom, I’ll do that. Don’t worry.”

Well guess what?

I fell for your empty “I’ll clean my room” promises. (I should have known better after a lifetime with you.)

You’ve moved onto another space now, filled with beautiful shower gifts and newlywed-married-love-bliss.

And me?  I’m here, sorting through your stale Christmas stocking candy from 3 years ago.

I’m likely going to need therapy after yesterday. Not because I’m sentimentally broken by seeing all your childhood belongings, but because I’ve never quite seen anything like the inside of your closet.

I’ve basically ignored your space for the last few years. I figured you were an adult and I tried to let you live your own life (except when we had no bowls and I knew they were crustily piled on your desk).  Maybe though, as I look at the 9 bags of garbage in the hallway  – I should have gotten a little more involved.

I’ve seen things that can’t be unseen.

I do have a couple follow-up questions and observations, if you wouldn’t mind helping me out…

  • What should I do with the large and extremely sharp fencing sword you left behind? (you had a couple other swords too) Did I miss the sword phase? I feel like I should have noticed that.
  • Why did you have a portrait of the Queen hung up on your wall?
  • Were you saving the empty, sticky Wendy’s frosty cup from 2010 for something special? (I may need a tetanus shot)
  • Why did all your drawers have pencil shavings in them? Did we never provide you with a garbage can?
  • Socks. So many socks. Not one matched. Why? How did you live such an unorganized sock life?
  • Just a pro-tip for the future –  after you buy something at a store, throw out the bag. Don’t shove it into the back of your closet. THE CLOSET IS NOT A GARBAGE. (I may have yelled that multiple times yesterday)
  • Dust. So much dust. I had to use my inhaler 4 times. Your room almost killed me.
  • Did I also miss your competitive swimming phase? I found some goggles and a Speedo swim-cap that seemed very unusual.
  • The books that you tried to pack? (thanks for the feeble attempt) Well, a kitchen garbage bag doesn’t have the strength required to hold 47 hardcover novels.
  • How long did you have that picture of the farmers with no faces? THAT CREEPED ME OUT.

Thankfully, there were a couple nice moments in the middle of my despair. The book, “I love you with all my heart” that I gave you when you were 5, showed up at just the right time. And the clip-on tie from 7-year-old Noah’s Christmas may have made me tear up a bit, along with a random super-hero mask, lightsaber and your Timbits soccer medal. But don’t get me wrong, sentiment aside –  I’m going to be salty about this for at least another week.

Next time you come home to visit, with your beautiful new wife  – there’s a lovely clean room for you to stay in now. You’ll likely think we moved.

But don’t you dare ask me about anything that was in that room. There will be no “Did you get rid of…..” comments, or questions about decisions I made surrounded by your landfill. It was a dark night for me, and the MAGA hat had NO CHANCE. I got everything I thought mattered to you into one green tote, and the rest – we shall never speak of again.

For your sake, and mine. 

My prayers now are for Annie. The new keeper of your sock drawer, pencil shavings and retail shopping bag collection.

I still love you –  forever and always,

Mom xo