I’ve been so homesick for my faraway children these last couple of weeks.
Youngest Daughter is serving her final days before returning home. Her ticket has her leaving Thailand on Tuesday, traversing this globe in various hops until she lands in Columbus, OH, on Wednesday night. Her debriefing lasts through the next week, until Friday, when, Oh Glorious Hope! her daddy and I are to join her for some closing formalities before bringing her home.
Maybe it is the proximity of her return. Maybe it is that I am finally allowing myself to think about how far away she is and how long it has been. Maybe it is just that fact that nine months is a long, long time. But somehow the moments when I find myself in the middle of a longing to see her face and hear her voice, up close and personal are getting greater and closer together.
This morning, I was heading out through the laundry room to the garage for something or other, and I got to thinking about Oldest Son and his wife. It’s been a long time since we saw them, and I felt this tightness in my throat and such a constriction in my heart that it surprised me. Stopped me cold. And I thought about the dynamics of our family, and the things that I miss so much.
There are so many things that I miss. Actually, though, what I miss the most is what I can never have again — the faces of the children around the supper table; Christina, Deborah, Raph, Lem and Rachel. I miss the sense of our family as our own little unit, the sounds of our children’s voices at play, at conversation, at prayer . . .
Tonight I remember the conversations at bedtime, words said through fresh-brushed teeth.
“Now I lay me down to sleep, I pray the Lord my soul to keep . . .”
“Put thoughts of Jesus in my head, and angels all around my bed, and fill my dreams with things that please you . . .
I think of the five of them tonight, and I’m certain they all still brush their teeth before they sleep, and I suspect that they still at least think prayers as some of their last thoughts.
When they come home, the house fills up with the essence that is our kids — and I stir around the kitchen and hear them laugh and talk, and sometimes I wonder at the adults they have become. Opinions, ideas, and lives that are so independent of their Daddy and me, but people that I love so incredibly much and respect, and enjoy being with. And they’ve brought good people to our family. Jesse, Regina and Jessica. We are so much richer for having these people as part of our family.
In the shadows, on those days when they are all home, I hear the sounds of the children they once were. Christina still mothers them all and makes us laugh. Deborah can be counted on for an opinion, and her many acts of service for her siblings often go unnoticed, Raph is still our Saint Bernard puppy of a guy, and he’s the one who plays his guitar and sings to me songs he’s written just for me, and Lem is “the judge” — his sense of justice and integrity still his guiding light, he also sings and plays his guitar almost constantly. And Rachel — She’s been our baby, and as such, it’s been easy to love her, but maybe not give her the credibility she deserves. It’s been so long since she has been here, and I suspect we will be rewriting the rules of her place in the family when once she’s home.
The thing is, I want a chance to to just that. And if the Lord so wills, and present plans carry, just two weeks from today, they will all be home again. And I’m no fool. It won’t be perfect. I happen to know this Daddy and Momma, and we still make mistakes when it comes to parenting. I also know these kids.
But they will all be under our roof for a while at the same time, and this Momma can hardly wait!
8 responses to “”
Having everyone together under one roof makes this momma happy too. Blessings.
What a time that will be! I won’t even be there and I’m excited!
Have a wonderful wonderful time! I’m thankful most of mine live close. One is 1000 miles away but we get to see her at least once a year.
Happy reunion, BEG! I am enjoying a reunion with my youngest daughter and family at this moment. Nothing equals these times.
you bring to tears to my eyes because we are fast approaching this stage in life. My two youngest have been with their grandma in AL for the last 2 weeks with at least two more wwweks there…..missing those young ones. The older two are in and out and gone for short periods. And not home in the evenings like they used to be…gone with friends and activities. Cody is heading to India in a bout 2 months….he will only be there 10 days but I know I will miss him
I am so with you on this entire post. The finality of the kids’ growing up and going on with their lives separate from us is at times overwhelming, and amazingly painful. Yet the joy of what they bring now into the family, and the gifts that are the spouses that have and will join us is immeasurable! I have truly learned the meaning of the word “bittersweet.”May you have joy, and fun, and laughter, and beautiful spiritual oneness in your soon family gathering!
I haven’t good enough memory to give this quote proper credits, but the essence is:”The definition of success is having adult children who enjoy coming home for a visit.”
You have said it all so well again, Mary Ann. It is good to know I am not the only one who feels this way. It is not easy to surrender those offspringins to faraway places, but my prayers can follow them always. Blessings to you and your family in your upcoming time together. I know how quickly that kind of time flies by.