Iwoke up this morning to the delicious smell of pancakes on the griddle, and thesound of my dad's voice as he sang some silly song my mom and I suspect he madeup. That's my dad: fun-loving, lovable and comfortable to be around.
Thisis my home. This is my life ... and I love it. But it won't be like this forever.No, the familiarity will too soon pass and I will be placed on a path that forcesme forward, not allowing me to retrace my steps to the time that isnow.
Getting out of bed is a melancholy act. I want to live in this momentforever. My mind drifts back to days when Dad and I used to go on nature walksand he pointed out all the wildlife; times when I tagged along to his workshopwatching him build furniture while I imitated him with my mini-toolbox; endlesscar rides to and from sporting events, and long talks about the mechanics oflife. My father is a great man, probably the wisest I've ever met. I love himwith my whole heart and will be hurting so much when it comes time to leavehim.
My mother knocks on my door to see if I'm awake, then retreats downthe stairs on her weekend mission of putting the house back in order. I willalways cherish the memories of our impassioned discussions on the emotionalaspects of life, of my first cooking and cleaning lesson, of the many times shewiped the tears from my face when life seemed to be rejecting me, and when shesaved enough money to take me to Disney World. Leaving her will also be one ofthe hardest things I'll ever have to do. My mother is my comfort; she is a lovinghug and my strength. I will miss her terribly.
The phone rings. It ismy boyfriend. How will things change between us when I leave? I don't want tolose this relationship, but I know deep in my heart that it will change.
Ihave another call and click over. It is my best friend. Surely this friendshipwill last, because we're best friends. Going through high school together andsharing our every thought and action must mean something. But, sadly, I realizethis too shall change.
It has to change, because I am leaving.
Iwill even miss my dog, he who always greets me with a single happy bark and wagof his tail. He who always, always, has time for me when I need him. My funnylittle puppy, I wish I could take him with me.
I hang up the phone and godownstairs. This house holds so many memories of Christmas dinners, birthdays, awedding, new life and death.
I think I will miss the simple things themost. Like hearing my mom on the phone, or smelling the delicious dinner she iscooking on Sunday, the slow plodding of my dad up the stairs, or his talking tomy dog as he lets him out. I won't miss these things because I am leaving, for Iknow I will be back time and time again. But things will be different when Ireturn, and that's what is so painful.
I guess I will miss most the daysthat I am living now. But it is time I move on, that I grow up. It hurts, but Ineed to. Please excuse me while I kiss my parents good morning, and start fillingout my college applications. I've been putting them off for awhile.
This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.