There is something to be said for children leaving home and gaining independence. It is a mark of adulthood and maturity and growing. I’m talking about ME, people… I hate it. I’m not good at adulthood and maturity and growing. I want my kids and I want them here and I want them now! (Glad I got that out of my system, whew!)
Yesterday we had a wonderful birthday dinner/celebration for my grandson. His parents made a delicious chicken with rice stew and we had rolls – and, of course, cake and ice cream. They made it all and brought it to our house where we have a little more room to sprawl. It was a wonderful time full of family and laughter… overshadowed by that nagging hole where Em and her hubs should be. It just doesn’t seem right somehow to have things like this without them. I know children grow and due to job opportunities or just a desire to experience new things, they move away from the places they have lived all their lives. I do understand this. Okay, my head understands this. But my heart? My heart is fickle. It wants to put a leash on every one of them and say, “this is your boundary”… “you may not be more than one hour away from me at any time”. Foolish, I know.
Perhaps if I were the woman who had constant battles with her kids and frustrations to end all frustrations. Perhaps if I were the one who moaned everytime I heard they were coming and felt I had to clean my house to within an inch of it’s life before they stepped into the door. Perhaps if I were the kind of person who demanded they do every little thing I told them to do and expected they live their lives exactly how I wanted them to, with little regard to their happiness or peace of mind. Perhaps if I was the woman who could never say “I’m sorry” or “I was wrong” or “boy, did I ever screw that up”…. or “I love you”. In that case, maybe this wouldn’t feel like such a huge emptiness when the circle isn’t complete.
I don’t demand that my children come when they’re called. I have no “command performances” for them to appear at magically with their best foot forward. I relish every moment I have with them, be it a quick phone call or e-mail or sharing their lives on their blogs. I treasure the times they can be here, laughing or crying or pouting or whining… I accept them in all shapes and sizes and forms. When they are here, the smiles are bigger and the feelings run closer to the surface. The moments of quiet reflection are spent trying to send them thought waves of love… just love. To see them all sitting around the table, enjoying each other’s company is a blessing that not all families share and I take those moments and tuck them away to enjoy when they have all gone home.
Somehow, when there is even one of them missing, though… it just doesn’t seem right and complete. I hope someday I can be more grown up about it. I hope I can mature. For now? Let’s say it’s gonna be awhile before that day comes.