Everyone left at once today, heading in different directions. I took Jackson to the airport, he was reminiscing about his childhood and it was a pleasant ride - we laughed about Copper the Not Bravest Dog, Mr. Lee, friends, boats, fishing poles. I always cry when I drop them off - not as much as I used to but it's hard - I know it will be months or even years before I see them again. We had a great time, Jackson saw everyone he hadn't seen previously. He very much enjoyed all the extra time he got to spend with the Aunts and Christine. He played with the dog and of course his cat Vincent pranced and paraded for him. David and I took alternate days off so we could spend time with him, he only had one day of real down time - but given there were video games, soda and a couch it was not much of a hardship. Ray arrived on Friday and they hung out for the day, then we went out to dinner. Saturday was like old times - we saw Priest in the little theater down the road, off to the bookstore and then out to Ruby Tuesdays - that's been one of our favorite restaurants and everyone loves it. As I said before Jackson's leaving is inevitable and as much as I love him and would love to keep him here, I know that's no good for anyone. I know he's going to Afghanistan and doing something very noble for our country - and he volunteered for it because that's what he believes is the right thing to do. But oh, when they go - I get a pressure in my chest that just won't let go and the sadness for the fact that their childhood never is long enough - to spend just one more week waking up in our own beds with the sun shining and the possibilities stretching out as far as the day will allow - that is the grief that overwhelms me at times. But I hugged him good bye and left him at the airport a few hours before his flight - we both enjoy bopping around the airport shops and people watching - and turned and headed home. Adventure awaits us both, but his adventures are his own now, aren't they? We are so proud of both of our boys.