Rules… they were meant to be broken. Here’s my pre-Mother’s Day post, which I am, most rebelliously, still going to post. Slightly stale, but a fresh cup is on its way… I hope all you moms reading this had a great day yesterday.
Thursday, 5/10: Uh-oh. I can feel it coming on. This might be one of those posts in which my sleeves get all soggy at the cuffs– know what I mean? (Sister Aloysious and I have already established that sleeves are meant for sopping up drippy emotions.)
Even as I tap away at my keyboard, my first-born is waiting at Denver International Airport to board a flight to London. Yes, the boy is coming home TODAY! (Oh geez, there it goes… eye-welling action.)
Home. It’s a funny word in this context. Will has never lived here, and I seriously doubt he considers it home. I’m not really sure any of us consider it home in the usual sense. Wherever Chloe goes next year, I wonder if she will say she’s going ‘home’ when she visits London. I wonder how long we will even live in this float… uh, I mean, flat.* I am beginning to think a change could be good, in the context of all the maintenance difficulties we’re having.
And yet, this is where we are. This is where I am– the mama chick, the matriarch, she-who-cooked-and-cleaned-and-changed-diapers-all-those-years. So it seems like… I mean, I hope that… the kids can always consider it coming “home” when they come to visit me… just a bit, at least? Isn’t that what we moms are striving for in all those endless hours of mind-numbing chores– creating a sense of belonging and security, of HOME– for our families?
I’ve found that particularly challenging this time around. There’s nothing familiar to build upon. We sold nearly all of our furniture. I guess we built our decor from the really cool living room rug we bought in the States just before leaving, and from the art we brought with us– the paintings and prints and photos we’ve collected as we’ve moved from place to place over the last 20 years. The Santa Fe map print, the enormous Paris engraving and the smaller Bir Hakeem bridge (Paris) engraving hang in our living room with the new modern furniture and the shaggy blue wool rug. The abstract encaustic (wax) paintings of a view across the northern New Mexico landscape, its smaller companion trio of a field in Wales, and the wildflower oil pastel we bought in London on a visit many years ago hang in the dining room/kitchen with the new, glass-topped table. And the colonial Boston map print (the one that used to hang in our warm, red dining room… sniff, sniff) and the P. Buckley Moss prints from our wedding and Ohio days hang in our bedroom. These pieces of our old home have found places in our new home, but everything else is new– fresh and nice, but also strange and different.
So I wondered about home, coming into Will’s visit. Would he feel any sense of it at all as he came into the flat and headed for ‘his’ bedroom– especially when confronted with the ‘modernist’ concrete floor (see note below) in the downstairs bedroom he and Quinn share? (Actually, they “timeshare” it, as Q moves into Claire’s room when Will is here).
Friday, May 11: Will arrived early this morning! My wake-up call was from him, saying they’d landed about 30 minutes ahead of schedule. He took a cab from Victoria Station, after negotiating customs and the airport train. When he texted that he was in the cab, I let Quinn and Claire go outside to wait for him on the bench in front of our house. But traffic was backed up on our street so, unbeknownst to us, he got out a couple blocks away. When we finally saw him coming up the sidewalk with his luggage, I let the children run to greet him. That moment was just the best.
Except for maybe that moment later in the morning, when Will said, “It feels good to be back and settled in.” That moment was also pretty great.
I sure am thankful that we are all together– that we’re all ‘Home.’ What more could a Mom want?
* Update: The downstairs bedroom is still not dry enough to install carpeting– that is, the concrete floor doesn’t look or feel wet to the touch, but moisture is still seeping up under the furniture, which means a carpet pad would basically be a sponge. Don’t even get me started on the emotional firestorm I went through while placing cotton rugs end-to-end to give Will a pseudo floor covering for the weekend.