Monday, May 14, 2012

The Sand Painting

Working hard...
I'm sitting here with the boys right now. In fact, one of them is within patting distance but despite all the hugs I've forced them to endure, I sit still and quiet right now.

I am taking shallow breaths, not moving except for the gentle tapping on my laptop because it's almost as if they are part of a sand painting that might be easily or carelessly destroyed--the colorful grains scattering if I exhale upon the design.

They came for an all-too brief visit and, as the moments tick down and backpacks, shoes and books start making their way into the car, I begin to quietly panic.

Wait, we didn't play that trivia game we used to love. Hold on, we didn't watch the movie we'd discussed. Slow down, I didn't kiss or hug you enough. Why must you go so soon?
The many colors of sand

I gaze about me. The house is a disaster.

There's a cereal box on it's side. Books cover all available surfaces, computers lie open, bright screens staring. There are shoes in the hall, t-shirts draped over the backs of chairs.

There's a cat here, a pair of socks there. Water bottles are forgotten, half full and Tom, not feeling well has left his Advil open next to an abandoned magazine.

I cooked a lot. The residue of stuffed peppers clings to dishes in the sink, glasses still hold an inch of juice, milk or my Diet Coke. There are crumbs of corn bread under the chair and the cat food has been tipped. Charlie's cat, Tito, who came along for the ride, is furtively crunching.

When they leave, I will clean it all up.

I will scrape pots and soak pans, scour the sink and wipe down the counters. I will be making their beds as they head south on the Turnpike and bury my face in their pillows before I punch them back into shape and lay them neatly on the quilts. I will run the vacuum and start a laundry. Then I will sit down and sulk. In fact, I can feel it coming a hot balloon right behind my eyes.
Don't sneeze.

I am, of course, over the moon that they visited...especially for Mother's Day. We were a Hallmark card for a few minutes today as I opened gifts and received affection. It was all I dreamed off but why, if they like me enough to give me cards and presents do they leave soon after?

What would be the problem with moving back into their rooms where sports trophies from junior high and a second grade Halloween diorama collect dust on the shelves. They would get free meals and snacks, no rent would be expected and the outside world could be kept at bay. I could insulate and shape their worlds like I did when they were suggestive sit-coms, haircuts after school, only whole grains and fresh veggies.

The finished.....

I get it. That's over. Now it's girls and cars. Sex and rock 'n' roll. Nah, it's not that either....although there are girls, they drive cars and like music. They are grown-up.

Unfortunately, I'm not.


  1. What lovely thoughts, thank you...

  2. You raised two handsome, considerate, hard-working young men. And, one day, you will be the best mother-in-law a girl could hope for... AND they love you enough to make the trek home for mother's day... CONGRATULATIONS on a fabulous job, beautifully done! XXXOOO
    PS - time to learn to knit... teeny tiny baby things... and to set up the home to be safe for Grandbabies... (and it will freak the boys out - keep them on their toes!!)

  3. PS - the sand-painter dudes (Tibetan Buddhist Monks) came here and did the most glorious sand Mandela. Some random UNSUPERVISED child !!! destroyed it while we were there.... We were horrified... the monks... nah... calm, gentle, serene... perhaps not human... they redid it...
    We still wanted to SMACK the parent of the child who did the damage...
    I will not reach Nirvana in this life...

  4. I'm glad you got to see your kiddos on Mother's Day. Don't get in too much of a funk now, they'll be back....