The first word told me the location to which he was headed. The second, the adult into whose care I would be entrusting him. The third word told me whether he was leaving or arriving. And this summer it's generally leaving.
Pool, kickball, "manhunt" (huh??), pool, capture the flag, "sardines," pool . . . I've lost him to a summer of playing in all the best kinds of ways, all over the neighborhood, with some really fun neighborhood kids.
When he leaves, I am convinced it's without a single thought of ever coming home again. He's only coaxed back under duress to complete the day's chores, world's quickest meals, and enough sleep to give him the energy to start it all up again in the morning.
'Bye, Middle Son. See you in the fall!