The college kids are home. They make me so happy. My son, my niece, and their friend Chelcie all arrived by bus last night and my husband met them at Port Authority so our boy wouldn't have to navigate the subway with his suitcase and bad ankle. I was late at work, but managed to race home in time to straighten the house and order Chinese food for their arrival. The delivery man had just left when I heard the bantering voices of my family coming down the hall, all but my daughter, who was at a school dance. The three kids came in and fell upon the food as if they hadn't eaten in days. It made me feel as if I had managed to provide exactly what was needed in that moment. It felt simple and good.
Gosh, my boy looks good. I think he grew even taller. He's less clenched than the last time he was home. His acne is all cleared up, his face open and lighthearted, no crutches, just an ortho boot to immobilize the ankle while it heals. He came home with just a single left shoe, the ortho boot taking the place of his other shoe. As soon as he sat down he cheerfully peeled back the velcro boot straps, removed and threw aside his sock (it landed on the dining table), unwound the ace bandage and held out his leg for us to see the fading bruise like a bracelet around his ankle. Then he removed his other shoe and sock so we could compare both ankles to gauge what was left of the swelling. We crowded around and were a happy engaged audience and I'll say this: My boy knows how to heal.
Now he and his dad are watching soccer while Chelcie dozes on one couch and my niece on the other. My daughter is in her brother's room timing herself on a practice test. As soon as breakfast was done, she took my iPod Touch for a stopwatch and her test prep book and waved to us all. "See you in three hours," she said. She just came out for a break and kissed me as I sat here typing this. "It's going really well," she said. "I wish it were the actual test."
Michelle over at just eat it reminded me this morning that these are the moments that matter. These are the experiences that are true, and if we lose faith and spiral into despairing thoughts, we miss them. She—and all the rest of you here—pulled me back from the edge of darkness today. And standing in the clearing of this space, the blue sky overhead, I can see how good my life is. How all my fears are future based, dire imaginings of things that may never happen. All that is real is this moment we're living through now. And by God, it shimmers.