I make a list of all of the essentials. The things he needs and the things I know he will really want. The things that will help him fall asleep at night. The things he will cry for.
I put the finishing touches on the photo book I will send with him so that hopefully he won’t forget our faces too quickly.
I order yet another copy of Goodnight Moon. This time, it’s a recordable version that will help him remember how our voices sounded as we read to him each night at bedtime.
I will stock him up on size 4 T-shirts and summer pajamas. Maybe a new pair of Crocs. Yet another pair of sunglasses even though I know, I know, he will probably break them in the first week. I will buy him these things in advance to get him set up for next season, which he will spend without me.
I am un-nesting. I am preparing not for the arrival of my child but for his departure.
He’s not my child, though. Not legally. He is my four-year-old foster son, a boy whom I have never had any real claim over, but a child I have fed and hugged and cried over and corrected and laughed with and loved for the better part of the past year.
He’s not mine, but oh, how it feels like he is.