From Memphis with love . . .
Today I shopped Target in a town hundreds of miles from you. I flipped through fall shirts, then stopped, confused, because I don’t know your size any more. You’ve grown since I left home. And I wondered “Are you checking for ticks at bedtime?” “Are you remembering to wear deodorant every day?”
Back-to-school supplies are on sale, but I don’t remember if you need notebooks or pencils or if you have your multiplication tables memorized nor how your division skills are coming along. “And when was your last dental cleaning?”
Looking at best-selling books, I began missing our conversations, especially the fun ones where I throw out crazy words, nudging you to talk about hard topics and you reveal your heart.
Since I have been away . . .
how many flamingos have you drawn?
how many songs have you sung?
how many cello melodies have you played?
Walking by frozen foods, I leaked tears because I could not surprise you with ice cream tonight. You are growing up, while I . . . I am stuck on who you were weeks ago when I left, missing who you are now and missing who you are becoming.
So I tried to shop Target today, but I lost my purpose and forgot for a little while why I was there. Why I am here.
I had to remember my new purpose, which fluctuates a lot these days. Today, my purpose was to shop for snacks that might tempt a nauseated boy with little appetite to eat. He is a fun boy and it is a pleasure to be with him.
But my heart hurts for what I left behind. I miss being your wife and being your mom. I miss the ordinariness of taking care of you each day, making sure you are eating your vegetables.
How many cookies have you baked? And eaten?
How many episodes of Psyche have you laughed through?
To my frustration, it appears that part of my purpose is also letting you go for now, trusting in who I know you are and trusting extended family and friends to walk beside you as I cannot. And that sounds mature and logical, but I don’t feel mature right now. My heart is throwing a big tantrum and crying real loud, “God I don’t wanna let them go! I want my family now!”
Most days are good. Memories, laughter, reading and writing sustain me. The Lord’s Prayer sustains me.
But some moments are hard.