Only a mile away from home this morning, on my way into work, I remembered a time years ago when I was very, very angry at my son Rory for accidentally throwing out a $250 pair of Irish dance shoes that I had flown to Chicago to have custom fitted just for MY feet. It was just a pair of shoes. I was way, way over angry. Tears started welling up, and almost uncontrollably I began crying, and called my son to apologize for how angry I was that evening. He must have thought I was nuts. “It must be my hormones,” I thought – Or maybe it was because yesterday I thought often throughout the day about my friend Cheryl losing her 17-year-old son in a car accident.
But on my way HOME from work, I received a text from my younger son, Ian, that he and his brother were at the show seeing a movie. I was sooo glad. They haven’t spent much time together lately just the two of them, so I was glad that they would make the effort two days before Ian moves to Chicago.
On came the tears again.
As I got closer to home, I realized I have worked so much lately, that I have not cooked Ian’s favorite meal for him before he leaves! And since I work tomorrow again, there’s just no time.
Guess what happened next….. Back came the tears again………
So it’s 10:15 p.m., and I just finished making a big pot of spaghetti for my sons to enjoy tomorrow when I am at work.
But as the noodles were boiling, and the sauce simmering, I sat at my kitchen table making a list of what to pack for our trip to Chicago. I thought about all of the times we sat and laughed at the table, or cried, or even argued! I thought about the cookies I used to have for the kids after school, the homework they did there, and the most recent cups of coffee I’ve shared with them.
Yeah, guess what happened next….. More tears.
The kids are grown. In fact, I rarely get to cook for them anymore. I see my oldest son most often if I run into him at work. Sharing my kitchen table with my children is not something that happens very often anymore. I’ve even recently moved one of the chairs to the basement.
Guess what I’m doing right now………..
My sweet friends know just how to make me laugh. “At least it’s all good stuff! I mean, you’re not visiting them in prison!” said a friend of mine today. Yeah, I suppose they’re right. It just feels really strange. I mean – I remember the day I left Germany and got on a plane to come home, alone, jobless, with an almost 2-year-old, and 7 months pregnant. I didn’t know how the heck I was EVER going to “make it.” The future for all of us was soooo very unsure. It’s been a lot of blood, sweat, tears, and a whole lotta prayers. But I did it. I’ve “crossed the finish line,” as my friend Joan puts it.
Still feels weird though. Why? Cuz I put 150% into being Rory & Ian’s Mum for the last almost 23 years, and now I feel EXACTLY how I felt when I was getting on that airplane from Berlin to Detroit.
Now what? Yeah, now what?
Well, there’s 2 chairs at my kitchen table. No one has sat there with me very often over the past year. I have a 2-cup coffee maker, and I’d love some company. (This isn’t “hormones.” This is just a new chapter.)