My son came home this weekend. Although we spent some very special weeks with him and his girlfriend, Calan, in Asia over the holiday, and Todd and I had been to Philadelphia to see him, we had not had him home with us for three months. It felt too long. There is something different about your child being back in your home, that is so joyous. It is hard to explain unless you are a mother.
To be able to wake up and have them be there in the flesh is such a wonderful way to start your day. Seeing that face, which you love so much, and landing a kiss on that cheek, inhaling their own special scent. Making them coffee in the morning and delivering a hot cup of tea in the evening, it sounds very small but it is very big.
We went for a daily walk in the woods, him letting me discuss my latest ideas for my new book, him sharing his feelings of progress teaching his new illustration class- checking in with each other. “How are you really doing?” and honoring them with the gift of paying large attention. How many people in your life take the time to ask that and want to hear the truth.
We cooked special meals for him- his favorites- bar-b-que spare ribs, pesto with pasta from our own basil leaves, strawberry/raspberry cobbler from our orchard- the fruits of the warm summer frozen away for weekends like this. We worked side by side cutting up veggies for a salad and shared sentiments over the daily depressing news. We lit the candelabra and poured glasses of wine and held hands in prayer and thanksgiving.
We let the silly goats out and played in the snow with them. He and his father made a huge snowman and gathered sap in jugs from our maple trees to boil into syrup. Most of the day and night Bryce helped his father design a magnificent new website for his chainsaw art. He dedicated his whole weekend- his choice, and neglected his own personal work to do it, happily.
I went to bed tonight after kissing my son good night and telling him to sleep well and said, with some regret, that we didn’t do anything special this weekend. And then I realized that everything is special when your children are home. Just knowing they are sleeping in their bed is a gift. I recently read in a wonderful novel, Small, Great, Things, ” by Jodi Picoult, “I have such a short amount of time to be your Mama.” I agree. I wish that I had two whole lifetimes to spend with my children. One is certainly not enough. (Sierra- it is time to come home too)