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 on...like a hot balloon right behind my eyes.
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 little...no suggestive sit-coms, haircuts after school, only whole grains and fresh veggies.
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.