Ben is off to New Zealand tomorrow night.
In a way it will make just a little difference, because he's been living his own life for pretty much a year now, just eating and sleeping here (mostly). And yet knowing he's across the world will make all the difference. I've spoken to a friend there, and I know she'll be a contact point for him if there's issues, but even so, it's a long way.
Looks like we're finding out what an empty nest is like for real.
Sad? A little. Concerned? Ditto. Hoping he'll come back a bigger, stronger, wiser person? Absolutely. Hoping he'll not stay? Mostly that too. Nothing stays the same forever.