29 October 2011

The Visit


Edinburgh
I could write about the beautiful town, another castle, a city park in autumn, but that's not the sight I came to see. I hopped on a the cheapest-of-the-cheap airlines to spend a few hours with Luke. Yes, I walked around, ate a few meals with him, met some roommates but, the highlight? The highlight is pathetic to admit, really. We meant to watch something on my Ipad but ended up napping. My hand was under Luke's cheek and I got to brush the hair from his forehead while he slept. That was my highlight. It made me completely and unreasonably happy.

All that cuddling and affection we're supposed to give freely to our children one day runs into the brick wall of adulthood -- and there's so little warning that it's about to happen. Suddenly I find myself required to  summon, out of this same mind and body that was squarely in the momentum of years of physical parental care, the ability to take my hands off, to step back, and to even give the loving nudge out of the nest a healthy parent must do. Wow, this is hard.

What's amazing is how many people do it okay, not that some people can't handle it.

How hard, arrogant, caustic, judgmental I was towards my parents when I was Luke's age. How pure and complete justice is. Luke and Matt have no idea how much kinder and gentler they already have been to me, at 18 and 20, than I was to my parents, how much wiser already. I watch them and I learn.

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