Spaces

I’ve seen this picture more times than I care to count.It’s the photograph on the wall outside the CT scan unit at Southwestern Vermont Medical Center where I have waited a half a dozen times as Thing1’s colon — and now the space where his colon used to be — was scanned for abnormally abnormalities. He was having pain last Friday, and, as the pain worsened, we called the doctor and were sent to the ER, hoping it was ‘just’ food poisoning and not something related to his rearranged plumbing.A few hours later, we were sent home with a mostly clean bill of health - the new plumbing was still holding up, but there were some new growths on his liver that needed to be checked out — and a reminder that, even though we had removed his diseased organ, he still has an auto-immune disorder and likely will for the rest of his life (Lord keep that pre-existing condition coverage in place).He had other worries that weekend. Saturday, he, for reasons that they can each describe on their own blogs someday, broke up with SuperGal. The ultimate reason was, as her mom and I ultimately concurred, the one that separates so many high school sweethearts in their first year of college — they’re growing up and little apart.The Big Guy and I, while unconditional supporters of Thing1, still care very much about SuperGal and her family. We know they will be healing on their end of town, and we’ll be missing them on ours. When the weather warms, I’m hoping the two of them will grow their way back to each other as friends — as they have been since they were small.Thing1 will make the journey up to Dartmouth by himself this month for the follow-up. We started planning for him to take over the navigation last year because growing up, as he was reminded on Friday night, isn’t about the end of childhood and challenges. It’s about understanding that there will always be new ones, and, sometimes to keep growing, you need to do handle them on your own for a bit.