I hopped a bus to Boston yesterday, where I had a half hour visit with my dear T before she went off to class. I hung out on the Boston Common, then met my brother who brought me home to his house on the north shore.
This kind of flexibility and freedom is still strange to me, but pretty wonderful. My brother's home is filled with four busy boys, ages 11, 9, 6, and 6. Since I once lived with an 11, 9, 9, and 6, there was a strong sense of familiarity for me. Watching his household go through its chaotic evolution has been both reminiscent, revealing, and relieving.
(reminiscent) Ahh - those sweet days of simplicity. Lots of hugs and cuddling in laps and reading books. Family is the center of the universe.
(revealing) Wow - it wasn't just us. Four young children equals perpetual demolition work on a house. And it sure is loud in the back seat of a car.
(relieving) Whew. I did it. I can sit down now.
My brother lived for a while in Rochester, NY during the time that J and I and the kids lived there for 8 years. We went out walking this morning - to a hillside that looks over the vast vista of the sea, which we had to imagine behind the fog. He remembered a comment I made one time when he came over to our Rochester home about 17 years ago. I heaved a weary sigh, he recalled, and marveled at his ability to just come and go when he pleased, so easily and spontaneously.
And here we are! Roles reversed. Isn’t life funny?
In fact - as I sit here and listen to the sounds of a family of 6 preparing for a school day, I do get a twinge of heart leap. "Mom, where's my backpack?" "Hey Buddy, you've got to move along now, almost time to go." Snippets of song are sung, audible yawns ring out, feet thump over the hallways. It is a gentle routine, a loving family. *sigh*
When I hugged T in the streets of Boston yesterday I realized that it had been the second longest stretch of time I've ever gone without seeing her. She looks great. I love her so. Then off we went, on our separate ways.
Oh precious days gone by.