Sunday, June 2, 2013

Young hearts

Once they leave home, when they come back, it's never the same. Home is now a pit stop, a place where they keep their belongings while they are out in the world with their true loves, their friends, having adventures elsewhere. They are always on the way out to somewhere, a quick warm hug before they disappear again through the front door, promises to keep in touch floating back in their wake, their sense of freedom tangible and firmly trained on "the other." They have finally arrived at the place in their lives where everything is possible, everything is ahead of them and there is nothing keeping them from rushing toward it, hearts leaping at their escape from childhood, from tedious accountability, from curfews and the need to manage their demanding parents.


First our daughter went out the door to meet the young man she's been seeing since high school. His mother invited her to dinner at their house tonight. She won't stay out too late as she starts work tomorrow. She seems remarkably at ease with this fact, entirely untroubled by the unknown. Then, a few minutes ago, my son left with three of his best friends in the world, duffles in tow, heading to the woods where they will spend the summer at the camp the four of them have attended since they were boys. Now they are unit directors and waterfront directors and counselors, helping to run the programs for the kids while being together with their friends again in that idyllic lakeside place.


It's a good thing that I really like my husband. A good thing, too, that we worked out how to be alone together in this year just past. Because even when the kids are home, this is how it is most of the time now—just the two of us, the way we started out, young hearts leaping at the possibilities. It's important for us to remember.


18 comments:

  1. Ah baby. I know, I know, I know.
    Yes. You captured it all perfectly. You said it true.

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    1. Ms. Moon, i know you know, and you've also hipped me to the fact that this is how it goes from here on out! xo

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  2. Beautiful post and a fine tribute to the job you've done as parents and spouses. Wishing you a good week ahead.

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    1. e, thank you for the vote of confidence! wishing you a great week, too.

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  3. Yup, it is a good think you like your husband. I didn't go away to college, I lived at home so when I left home after college, I totally left, running forward just as you described, everything in front of me.

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    1. Kristin, the reason i know they're running full speed ahead is because that's what i did, too. Only now do I see it from my parents perspective. it will ever be thus.

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  4. Oh, Angella. I see this beauty in your home -- your children's sheer physical beauty and the nearly tangible love you have for them, and it's all over each post. And I feel sad, too, because despite all of that beauty, I feel your own sadness in the passing of time and all that change. It makes me remember my own young adulthood and that melancholic pull I had toward my parents -- and the joy of the world outside them that beckoned. I know it's coming with my own boys, and I hope that I can move through it as gracefully as you are doing.

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    1. Elizabeth, its such a melancholy thing, the growing up and away, the pride we take in their competence and the ache we feel as we watch them go. i am glad you think i am being graceful with it, because that's not how it feels to me at all. thank you for this full-hearted comment. hugs.

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  5. This. This is so beautiful. And those men hugging? Be still my beating heart.

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    1. Kimberly, thank you. I raised my phone and snapped that picture because it reached out and tugged at my heart too. xo

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  6. It's all inevitable, isn't it? Which doesn't make the growing independence any easier for the parents. But at least you can take comfort in the good sense of your kids, and the fact that they are navigating life so well!

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    1. Steve, they do seem to be navigating well thus far; fingers crossed that this continues to be so! That, in itself, is a great comfort actually. As my husband likes to say, this is how it's supposed to work!

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  7. I will be honest and say this fills me with a kind of panic. But everything is always changing, and I'm trying in my own life to learn to better treasure what is in front of me right now. Which I think has to do with returning, again and again, to the present moment and not dwelling too much on futures or pasts. And I can't imagine a more perfect first summer out of college for your son. Your love for them is so palpable.

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    1. Vensuvius, you have time, lots of time still with your beautiful sweet girls still in the fold of your arm. These times will sustain you, I promise. Hugs.

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  8. Oh Angella, that photo of your daughter and your mother is so... well, it's just SO.

    As a woman with no children, I can't directly relate to your description of how it feels when they turn into adults and begin to live their own lives, but I appreciate the descriptive poignancy of your words here, describing it to me. I feel it through you even thought I haven't lived it.

    Hugs to you and to your husband, my friend. :)

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  9. The picture of your beautiful daughter and beautiful mom is one your daughter will come to cherish. Seeing this delicate exchange did something to my heart. You are a brilliant winter ABD photographer. Sweet Jo

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  10. I remember when my mom expressed these same sentiments to me just before I left for NYU. I assured her that I would be coming home but she knew it would never be the same. And it never was. I also remember my father trying to get me to stay home instead of going off with my friends. His best move was to put on some old classic movies as I was heading out the door. I always got sucked in and we would watch the whole thing. I only stepped away long enough to call my friends to cancel. I saw some pretty amazing movies with my dad. He never asked me to stay but he know how to make me want to. He is a pretty great guy.

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  11. It sounds like such an interesting time - the young adults trying to find a new way, and the older adults finding their way back to how they used to be. With the strong bonds in this family, I have no doubt that it will all work out beautifully.

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