Yesterday, as they each scooted out, I quickly shut the door behind them. The calendar is confused here in St. Louis. Even though it is November, the temperatures keep shouting, “February!” Normally, I’d follow them to their cars, but because of the cold, I watched them through my frosted window pane. Hustling around brick corners, they hopped into vehicles that would drive them away. Warm woolen coats, piles of leftovers with red plastic lids, dogs on leashes, and a babe in arms, all gone into the starry night.
I’ve seen my sons grow from little lads fighting for survival into grown-up men; one with a beautiful wife and a toddling daughter by his side. Each has left the nest to make their own, and I have done my job. Although they live with chronic conditions, the day has come when they are stable. Not so long ago, through sleepless days and nights I prayed for this time to come. In a sense I hope for another “Groundhog Day;” today and tomorrow and tomorrow again.
My house is quiet now. The sound is stark and deafening. I miss my two son’s loudness and my grand-daughter’s giggles of yesterday. My home is strewn with naked dolls, books and blocks, and china near the sink. On my kitchen counter, a miniature bowl of melted whip cream with barely a dollop of pumpkin pie on top. I must remember that my “mother’s” job has come and gone. I’ve raised babies into good boys, and then morphed them into better men. The oldest has found his soul-mate: what a gift he has in her. Someday, too, my youngest will discover his “pearl” within this great blue sea of life. I sense he longs for what his brother has found, but his time is hidden well beneath.
Today my boys are both grown. They are happy and “healthy,” making my heart sing with joy. If and when the dreaded quietness becomes too much for my ears to bear, that’s the sound that I shall hear…..
Today and tomorrow and tomorrow again.