Monday, April 22, 2013

So many roads

Our girl came through overnight on her way back to school from Boston. I miss her now that she has swept back out, back to her life away from us, her most real life. It was good to see her, even for those few hours. It was especially good to curl up with blankets on the couch and catch up on things. She looks good, she seems well, as far as I can tell, but how far can I tell, I wonder? She's so capable, the way she set her alarm and was up and showered and packed and hugged us tight and was out the door this morning, knapsack on her back, pulling her rolling weekend bag behind her.

She just texted me that she ran into her friend at Port Authority, the one she used to take the school bus with from pre-kindergarten on. Yes, I did put her on the school bus in pre-K. She and this other kid were the only two four-year-olds whose parents dared to have them ride the bus. They were fine, and half the class joined them the following year. By then these two were bonded as bus buddies. Now this young man goes to college in the same town as my daughter, and he was taking the same bus back to school as she was. They're bus buddies again, haha.

Hard to believe she has just two more weeks of freshman year and then finals, and then we will all gather for her brother's graduation. And then—what? I don't know what comes post college. We're about to chart new territory here. Our son is eager to be done with school for a while. He has no desire at this moment to go to graduate school in anything. He wants to be an EMT/paramedic/firefighter with the FDNY. That's his plan. A couple of track and field coaching opportunities might also be coming his way.

Sometimes life is just one big ache. And worry. I think too much, that is the whole cause of it. I feel vaguely uneasy this morning and I can't figure out why. Maybe I simply miss everyone I love who is away from me. There is such comfort in the physicality of our loved ones, in being able to circle them with our arms and inhale the salty sweetness of them. And keep them safe.


  1. I think too much too and it's a big, huge problem and it always has been and I think I'll probably get some damn neurological disease because I will have worn out my neurons.
    See? Perfect example of too-much-thinking-leading-to-too-much-worrying.
    It is disconcerting for our babies to leave and then come back and to leave again. When I went crazy some years back I truly think it was because all the kids had moved out and I'd gotten used to that (sort of) and then Jason and Lily moved in and then Jessie moved back in and then they all moved back out and next thing you know, I was INSANE!
    Your daughter is so beautiful.
    Good morning, dear. Good morning.

    1. Dear Mary, this comment is everything. In a way I cannot even explain. But it is, and thank you.

  2. I'm glad she got to come by home on her way back to school. After last week, I needed to see mine and they mostly live in town!

  3. Well, if it's any comfort at all in the thinking, I think about both my boys leaving me one day and Sophie staying forever! There's no winning in the thinking and clinging, no?

    I had to chuckle at the news of your son wanting to be an EMT or fireman. I have always said that I hope my boys avoid medicine, never want to be doctors but rather firemen! I just think they're the finest people on the planet!

  4. It sounds to me like you know exactly why you feel uneasy. Life is full of uncertainties. But take joy and pride in the fact that your kids are so accomplished and self-directed -- that's no small thing!

  5. angella, i relate so much to the unease we are left with when our children fly through on these quick visits...stopping, being totally there, and then gone again. my son came up for my birthday last month, was here just 2 days, and i sent him off in a blizzard to drive back to NYC. i have felt like a person with a phantom limb ever since. it just wasn't enough.

  6. Oh Angella I feel this separation- hurt- anxiety every time my son leaves I hear what you write the ache of it the fact that at some point we are no longer their rudders though we are still home. No one prepared us for it either. Terrible Twos yes. Teenagerism yes. Even menopause (to an extent) but not the gut wrench of so called Empty Nest Syndrome like it is some flighty thing we can overcome by learning how to knit.

  7. Angella, I've recently been sitting meditation, talk about thinking too much. I have thoughts on top of and under my thoughts. It's a horror show but there are sometimes a few seconds in between where it all stops and there is nothing but the vibration of the universe. It's just enough and maybe the seconds will grow into a minute of stillness....
    My babies are getting ready to move out and I can already feel my heart wrinkling in sadness AND joy. They are starting out on their very own journey! I'll hold your hand and you hold mine.

  8. Sometimes I think our uneasiness doesn't reveal itself until days later after it has left.
    It seems crazy to me that anyone could run into someone they know in Port Authority =) I'm glad your daughter is safe. xoxo

  9. Having children is just so much heartache. It is inherent in the having of them. You write it so beautifully.

  10. I promised myself when they were born that when it was time, I would let them fly, I wouldn't worry and obsess and guilt them into checking in. I naively thought I could help ensure they knew everything they would need to know to stay safe and thrive in this world. This world, it makes little sense to me some days, but I'm learning to trust them to trust themselves. But this is the loneliest and scariest part of my journey yet. Letting go is the hardest thing. Can I hold hands with you all too? Mine will be empty soon enough, and knitting will not be enough to keep the ache at bay. Maybe I can find those moments of meditative bliss with Yobobe, or go insane with Mary. I think these blogs might save us a little. Thanks for your words, for spilling your heart to us so beautifully.
    Love, Mel

  11. Love thinking of those two bus buddies - once tiny, now grown, riding that uncertain road again...