This weekend Sam will come home and spend a few days. There is not much planned other than the usual: some Winstead’s and Oklahoma Joe’s. In a few weeks, Ali will be home for a visit – and we will get to meet Banjo the puppy, who is quickly becoming Banjo the dog.
In that this blog is meant for me to write about things that make me happy, these visits fit the bill. Yesterday, I spent time trying to write something about this. It really went nowhere. I was trying to get something down that may be meaningful beyond my own eyes, but not personal to the extent that it would embarrass anyone. I was not doing a very good job at that, so I didn’t finish. I am back to it today to try again.
For eight years now, I have been learning what it is like to have my kids living far away. It started eight years ago when Sam headed off to college in New York. The next year, Ali was off to New Orleans. Even though I am a proponent of kids going away to school, they were both hard for me. While high school gives you a preview, college is that point when the meeting of the Venn diagram circles of our lives, yield much smaller area. Their life, my life, where we meet and share, is not what it used to be. Those days of knowing who, what, where and when are gone.
So, I have arrived at this point, not unexpectedly. The distance between college and home for both kids made visits infrequent. When both of them graduated, they decided to stay in the cities where they went to school. Both of them have jobs, and health insurance, and friends who care about them. While I would love for them to be closer, they both are inclined to make good decisions that work for them. I trust that most.
But when there is a visit planned, it is happy. For me, to lay eyes on that person who, no matter how old, shares my constitutional being, grounds something in me. I think, one of the best podcasts out there is one called Radiolab. There was one that I listened to recently about fetal cells. Scientists are finding is that anytime a woman gives birth, there is some mixing of blood and it is not uncommon for fetal cells to be found in a mother decades after the birth. There are questions as to whether those cells are protective, could potentially create issues, or whether they even matter. I think that ambiguity seems right. All of the above?
I am happy that in the next few weeks I will be able to spend time with my two wonderful kids. We may fall briefly fall back into the routines of what it was like to live together in this house. We may have time to talk more deeply about what is going on in their lives and what plans and hopes they have for their next steps. We will probably watch some stupid tv. Our Venn circles may cuddle a little closer. And when they get ready to leave, it will make me cry, but those are probably those baby cells doing their business.