The Long Road Home
The first time I drove that long 9 hours alone I wondered how I would survive years of this trip. I barely could stand the time away from the girls, from my husband. I was always missing someone. Still am, but the little girls have grown to not need me as much. We are very close in heart and in spirit, but don't need the proximity.
They have packed my items with me and they have rearranged, bought new colorful appliances, there are flamingos on our - err, their shower curtains. They have hung posters of concerts and white boards galore with notes of jobs, meetings and plans that they don't need me to tote them to anymore. I am so proud and so sad, and so happy. All at once.
I remember carting our two weeks of groceries in the trunk of my car and enjoyed seeing their faces as I had tucked small gifts in the bags for them. As they helped carry and put stuff away we shared triumphs and disappointments and new friend stories. Permissions were granted, lunch money sorted and sheets changed to start our 2 weeks ready and prepared. Now sometimes their beds are free of their presence as they make plans with other birds with wings spending the night with their girlfriends scheming and planning, friends I may have not met, nor talked to their mothers, oddly that is a strange thought, all the years we protect and guide, now given up to trust. They hop to the apartment for a home made meal and tootle out again with laughter and stuffed purses, not needing permission, not needing tucking in, car keys in hand, a shouted "I love you" as the door bangs shut. They are grown.
When I leave this time, I will not be flying back in 2 weeks. My suitcases will reduce to an overnight bag and my trunk will have just a few fun items. I will have to find time in their busy schedules to catch them. Its a new faze, a new way. It will be okay. They will be fine. I will be fine.
I always made a haven for them here in the apartment, a place of peace of joy and shared memories. It will now be in Maryland, in my home there. They will come to escape, to explore and to relax.. I will be there with their step daddy who they adore, they are excited to use the guest room. Funny, my children becoming my guests?
Oh well, time for new things to come, time to park the car and maintain one place.
Ya know, Its been a long road home.