School morning haiku
Today was such a day.

Home again, home again

On her dresser, beside her bed, Sophia keeps a little plastic pot, the kind you might find lip balm in. What she keeps in it, though, is a piece of chewed gum. Gross, I know, but it's the last thing Tre gave her before we drove away and left him in Arizona. She sobbed for miles, and when we stopped for lunch, she soberly handed me her slimy wad of gum and asked me to find a safe place to keep it, because she was going to save it FOREVER.

And so there it sits, on her dresser, and I know that's weird and wrong, but you know what's really weird and wrong? Having a member of your family peel away and live somewhere else. I know, I know, it's not "wrong," not actually. But it feels strange and lonely and stumbling sometimes, as we all try to figure out how we fit together now, with one of us gone. When Tre had been gone several weeks, we sat down one night to say evening prayers. The kids take their turns in order of age, starting with the oldest, and this night Max sat silent, waiting. Someone nudged him to go ahead, and he looked around, startled. "What? Where is Tre? Why isn't he here? I miss him!"

It was silly, because he'd been gone for weeks, but it was also so baldly true, the startled realization that nothing seemed in the right place somehow, that no one laughed.

This weekend, however, Tre came home. Just for a few days, but we are fizzy with joy over having him here. Sophia WILL NOT get out of his grill. I just now sent Max and Raphael up to their beds, even though they were supposed to be there an hour ago, because I could not bring myself to interrupt the way they hover around him. The comfortable bickering, the physical need to sit next to him and interrupt him as he tries to study. It's all so lovely and familiar and right.

Tuesday he goes home. Mom warned me the other day, that the first few years after your kids leave home, when they come back for a visit, the leaving hurts just as much as the first time. I'm not thinking about that right now.

Right now I'm just soaking it in, the content feeling that I can turn my phone off, all the way off, at night, because everyone is home. Tuesday is coming, but for now, we're all here.


And it's very good.


cindy page

bittersweet and beautiful - I'd keep the gum too if I were Sofia!




I'm afraid that the leaving will hurt worse the second time for me. I know you don't want to hear that, and I hope it won't for you. I just got off the phone with my freshman and he's not coming home til Christmas, so I have 2 more months til I see him. For me, leaving him at college wasn't as bad as I had feared because he was so excited and I felt he was in a good place. But now that he's been gone 2 months, by the time I get to see him, I'm going to have a hard time letting him go again. It does help that I can see him on FaceTime and tell that he is having a wonderful time (and being successful). Best wishes to you all as you have to part again.

Angela Giles Klocke

I feel this post down to my soul. My boys, though not hours and hours away, are still away, and it feels like forever away. One lives less than an hour, the other maybe 5 minutes, and yet they might as well be on a different planet for how it often feels. I'm hugging you. I know how we surround each boy when they come for a visit, so this really gets to me. <3

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