Hot Cheetos

Hot Cheetos

In my feelings today.

Sara Royston · 2 minute read

Before heading upstairs to get ready for bed, I placed a bag of Hot Cheetos and some mail on my oldest son's desk. I haven't seen him since Monday night. He's been home. I keep track of his whereabouts using an app. But I haven't actually laid my eyes on or spoken to him since Monday night and that was just for a few minutes before we both went to bed.

I leave for work before he gets up. He's been going to the gym right after school and from the gym, right to work. By the time he gets home, I am fast asleep.

We decided to go out for dinner tonight, and the restaurant we chose was in the same shopping center as where he works. My younger two came with me, and as we pulled in the parking lot they laughed and yelled, "Hi Ty, how ya doing?" This has become a family joke from one day this past summer when I did the same thing as we passed his workplace, and they thought it was hilarious.

That was when the feeling struck. Part of me wants to forbid him from working after school for the next year just so I can spend more time with him before graduation. But I know that isn't the healthy, rational thing to do as a parent...right?

It's a weird feeling. I am happy for him. He's doing what he wants to be doing, living his life. But I am so sad knowing in a just over a year from now, this will be the norm, except he won't necessarily be coming home from work to our home, the one where I am. He might be heading to his college dorm, or he might be living in an apartment with some of his friends.

I know there have been thousands upon thousands of parents feeling this exact same feeling. It is not unique to me. But that doesn't make it any more difficult or painful.

So, as small reminder that we are always here for him and are always thinking of him, I put the bag of Hot Cheetos that his brothers picked out at the gas station a couple of days ago for him on his desk. Maybe he'll need a little bedtime snack when he comes home after work. And maybe I will continue to drop off snacks wherever he drives home to after he leaves work in the future as well.

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