It's been a little over a week since I dropped you and your mom off at O'Hare, and I'm still not used to you being gone. I keep expecting to see your big smile and hear your gorgeous laugh. Your bed has been taken down and your room is empty, but I haven't had the heart to fill it back up.
I hate goodbyes. I always feel like no matter how I prepare my mind and heart for them, I am never ready when the time comes. I keep thinking of things I wished I'd said before you left, but somehow I know that you already know them. I know you know how much I love you. I know you know how glad I am that you were part of our lives for the last year. I know you know that you have a permanent place in my heart. I know that you know I will always be here for you if you ever need anything. You know these things, right?
I have learned so much from you this past year. I loved seeing things through your eyes, and I loved your perspective on life. I loved how excited you got over the small things, like an unexpected Chai Latte. I will forever think of you when I eat a peanut butter & jelly sandwich, see someone wearing sweatpants (so American!), or hear the word, "SOUP!" I will miss your competitive spirit (Who, me? I'm not competitive at all!) and watching you on the lacrosse field. You have definitely left footprints on my heart.