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The Little Things

February 22, 2011

This morning, at 4:00, my phone rang.  My son was on the other end of the line.  He was lost and needed help to find his way “home”.  This was a milestone for us on many levels.  First is the idea that he thinks of wherever I am as “home”.  He’s 18 now, and until just a few months ago, he had not lived  with me since he was 2.  But now I am his home.  The second big deal is that he knew it was okay to call.  He knew that I would “rescue” him from whatever was wrong.  And he knew that I would not let him stay lost.  And it didn’t matter that it was 4 in the morning or that his phone call would wake not only me but my partners as well.  He knew that we would all want him to be home with us, that we would all want him to be safe, that we would all want him to call if he needed us.  That’s trust.  And security.  And no small feat for a young man who was told for most of his life that his mom never wanted him. 

I keep having these moments of awe.  My son, this child that my heart longed for and broke for everyday for 16 years, hugs me.  Every day.  Often.  He genuinely wants to be where I am.  He asks me for advice about his hair and his clothes, girls, and his singing.  And he listens to what I have to say.  Sometimes he falls asleep in my lap as he did when he was a baby.  Sometimes he holds on tight to me and cries as though he’ll never stop.  Sometimes he flings words at me like weapons, challenging all that I believe in and all that I hold dear. 

I think back to all of the Mother’s Days that passed without him; there was such a bitter longing, such an incompleteness.  I always celebrated his birthdays and wondered what the “big gift” for that year would be.  His birthday is in April, 10 days after my older daughter’s birthday and every year, it seemed that I cried all the way through April.  I always felt the absence of him.  I felt as though I had breathed a part of my very soul into his body.  That piece of me was always gone, an amputation that has no prosthesis. 

So, at 4 in the morning when my son is lost and alone and afraid, I celebrate.  When he texts at 4:15 to let me know that he is home again and safe but so hungry that he just has to eat 6 sandwiches, I cry with joy.  When he stumbles awake at 2 in the afternoon and plops himself on my lap with his first cigarette of the day and the last cup of coffee from the pot (and I KNOW he didn’t make more!), I hold on tight and thank all the Gods and Goddesses that exist for bringing him back to me. 

He wasn’t the only one lost or alone or afraid.  He wasn’t the only one “missing”.  And as much as having him home means that things are changing, things are loud and chaotic, it also means that finally my family is complete.  Finally the pieces of my soul are reunited.  Finally I can breathe.

Ever celebrated the little things?  I do…daily.

The coffee pot is empty because my son drank the last cup.  Another glass got broken because my son dropped it.  There is obnoxious music screaming through the apartment at 3 in the morning because my son is home.  Dishes are missing, sucked into the scary vortex of an adolescent boy’s bedroom.  My husband had to buy condoms for the first time in years because I’m wayyyyy to young to be a grandma.  I do more laundry than I thought humanly possible.  I keep finding lone socks in the oddest places, like between the couch cushions.  For the first time in years, I have someone watching each ritual I do because these Pagan practices of mine are just so odd to him.  But this morning, at 4:30, my son sent a message for me to pass on to my wife: “Tell her that I hope gods and goddesses of travel get her home safely”.  My heart sang with joy and the tears flowed.  This family of mine that so many said could not and would not survive IS.  We are not thriving yet, but I can hold onto that vision for us.  We do not always function as one unit, but we have our moments.  And I will celebrate these little things.

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. February 25, 2011 4:39 am

    It’s wonderful to see you back here! I celebrate with you and your family, and all that is on the horizon for you.

    • signmom permalink*
      March 7, 2011 8:43 pm

      Thank you so much! To feel this kind of support again is so good for me right now!!

  2. Grace permalink
    February 28, 2011 3:10 pm

    How beautiful. I have tears in my eyes….what a wonderful thing to have your child come home to you after all these years. I could smell sweaty boy smells as I read this and thought to myself, this is the greatest perfume in the world…

    Smiling here….

    Great love emanates from this post.

    • signmom permalink*
      March 7, 2011 8:45 pm

      Yes…..yes….yes! There are growing pains and adjustments but there is such a soul joy that he has come home.

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