Amidst a room full of clutter, we find our scene. A room once full of princess pinks, rainbow headboards, and soccer prizes now enveloped in the mania of packing for college, consuming all thought and carpet space. Well, almost all thought.
"I can't believe you're leaving!" Mom's voice shook.
"I'll be home in a few months," Sheena said, sifting through knick-knacks to stay or go. "Don't worry too much."
"But I'm your mom, all I do is worry." She clutched a framed soccer picture of her only child mournfully.
"It's college, not a foreign country." Her father said, taping up a box and managing some chaos.
"And I'll be back for winter break and your birthday," Sheena said absently.
"It's New York City, so it is a foreign country. You could get mugged in the street!"
Sheena and Dad shared a smile before she put a hand on her mother's back. "I promise not to walk down any dark alleyways..."
"Or Central park?"
"Or that..." Sheena pulled out some scrapbooks.
The sight of them sparks instant delight on Mom's face. "Oh! Oh! Let me see!" Mom takes them from Sheena in that strange combination of both excitement yet careful as moms do.
"These were so fun to make! I should do more of these now that I have time. Though I don't have too many pictures, now that you're on the instantsnap."
"You can always get an Instagram account and keep up with my adventures." Sheena corrected carefully.
Dad snorted, and Mom playfully hit his shoulder. "You know I'm not as tech-savvy as your Dad."
"Understatement!" Dad laughs. they continued to be cocooned in the memories of the room, shifting with the sands of time. Before too long, the room boxed, the memories finished, and bags packed.
The afternoon after the airport trek and one person less in the house, Mom stood at the doorway, giving a heavy sigh. Dad notices and supportively hugs her. "She'll be fine. You can finally get into some of those extreme hobbies you always wanted to. Rock climbing, skateboarding, base-jumping, dressage, spelunking."
Finally, she let out a snort of laughter. "I don't even know what that is."
"I know, but it's a perfect time to find out."
The holidays came with a blink. After uploading some pictures to various social media, and checking in on some of Sheena's photos, Dad sets about searching the internet for some of the perfect gifts. Stumbling across FunGiftWrap.com, he thinks he's found his answer. When Sheena came home, she brought exciting stories of classes she studied the hardest for and of various adventures around New York City. "Yeah, my roommate and I have been playing tourist," They cozied around the Christmas tree, "She's been showing me around. We took a ton of pictures too!"
"Oh! Can I...?" Mom was interrupted by Dad coming in with the gifts. "What is this?" Sheena can hardly contain her excitement. "Merry Christmas, Mom!"
The wrapping paper has pictures of Sheena at famous New York landmarks: Statue of Liberty, Central Park, Rockefeller Center, the Met, Lincoln Center, and Times Square. Mom is beside herself with excitement, tears in her eyes. "I don't know if I even want to open it, they're so amazing. Though..." Mom signals to Dad, and he presents some to Sheena.
"What the...! Mom!" Sheena takes the gift, where the wrapping paper has her mom trying things like rock climbing, a color run, goat yoga, and hiking. "This is awesome! I know you had taken up some hobbies, but this is great."
Dad claps his hands together. "Well, my work here is done. Though maybe it's time to open them." Warm laughter fills the house, ending our scene with delight.
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