“All the world’s a stage…

…And all the men and women merely players.”*

Today we threw a combination going away party and truck loading for our older son and his wife. Early tomorrow they head for their future, which for the next few years will play out in Charleston, SC where Tim, Jr. will serve as a Naval officer and Carly will finish her Math degree at historic College of Charleston.

Melissa did a great job organizing the party as a near surprise, using word of mouth and a bit of Facebookery.

A number of the kids’ closest friends came over to load up the truck and to celebrate. They are still romping in both our front and back yards, to the dog’s delight. I’m here typing this while I keep an eye on Joey.

Speaking of Joey, the kids’ friends made a wonderful video of recorded messages from all kinds of folks, wishing Tim and Carly the best as they move away. Melissa and I are on there, of course, and so is Joey.

Joey looks at the camera with a bit of distress. It’s his “You’re making me work, aren’t you?” face. You can hear the friend with the camera prompting him to say things, and then you can hear Melissa and me doing the same. We eventually get “Goodbye Carly” (twice), “Goodbye Tim” and “I’ll miss you” recorded for posterity. And then an “OK I’m done” turn of the head and exit, stage left.

I suppose we could say, “Well, that was sweet but it was just him repeating meaningless words from other people.” Except that Joey’s been smiling at his brother more than usual the last few days. He’s been coming out of his room to check on the party today. We went to dinner with Tim and Carly last night, and Joey kept smiling and saying “Tim” across the table. He knows something is up, something is changing. And instead of stressing him out, it’s peaceful and tender.

Yes, he’s just following prompts on the video. But he really is brother to Tim and Carly. The curtain between stage and reality is sheer, or maybe just threadbare.

* Shakespeare, As You Like It

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