Sunday, October 18, 2009

Nothing moving but the rain

I miss my son. He doesn't call, text or email. Poof. He's just gone. I know he's busy with his life, which is rich and full and lively with new people and ideas and experiences. I have to remember that I never called my parents either when I was in college. I traveled out of state, even out of country and never bothered to mention it to them. I spent weekends in the homes of people they never knew. I went to performances and parties and street fairs and art shows, exploring new neighborhoods, crashing sometimes wherever I happened to be, nights I'm sure they thought I was safe in my dorm room bed. I was completely in and of the moment. Not reckless. But meeting life with arms wide open, heart laughing, face to the sky.

This self-absorption and immediacy of experience is natural and desired when one is in college. I know this, but I can't help it. I still miss my boy.

Nothing moving but the rain. I saw this phrase in a New York Times magazine story about anxious brains. It struck me as summing up everything. It captures the sadness I feel when nothing major is actually wrong, and yet there is a hole at center of me that isn't quite caused by anything, just anxious imaginings, as ephemeral as rain. Maybe missing my son is just the best reason I can come up with for the sadness I feel today. And this too will pass. Like rain.


  1. Your son sounds like a mature and intelligent person, but I'm sure that is not much comfort.

    Imagine how special and meaningful the time you do spend with him will be, now that it's (relatively) scarce. :)

  2. ellen, you're right. He is a good young man, not perfect by any means, but smart and good hearted and well intentioned. And you know, he actually called last night in a very chatty mood. He's fine, of course. I need to just let him be. Thanks for the sentiment.

  3. Angella I'm sure your parents (just like all parents) must have said something like "Just wait till you have kids!", when you were in your gallivanting years.... your son will say the same thing to his teenage kids.... and so shall it be forevermore. You know you and hubby raised your boy right... he'll be just fine. And you'll never stop missing him, even if he called every day. :)

  4. Oh Deborah, you are so right! I will try to remember that. I realize that my job now is to let go. I'm not doing as good a job at that as my husband is. He's way more secure and philosophical!

    Thanks for the reminder of that forever truth.

  5. one thing I hate in this era of computers, cell phones, instant messaging, etc is it raises our expectations that we ought hear from our kids frequently; that expectation fuels that a certain level of anxiety.

    there is a proverb that I have long felt drawn to and it provides a bit of strength for me. it goes something like 'that the birds of care and worry fly over your head, this you cannot change; but that they build nests in your hair; this you can prevent'

    wishes for no nests and realizing that no news is just no news, and not bad news.

    hugs and keep remembering how you were at that age and your (in)frequency of parental contact....

  6. mouse, i have been thinking about just this. they say that disappointment is expectation unmet, and i hear your gentle reminder that perhaps it is the expectation that i should hear from my boy more that is out of sync. i love what you say, no news is just no news, not bad news. thanks for this lovely comment.


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