Twenty something years ago, we moved hundreds of miles away from the ancestral home to vacationland. At the time we thought it would be short term and a transfer would take us back in a couple of years. Boy were we wrong. A job change and many mergers later has us right here in the same place. Now I believe in the old saw "Bloom where you're planted" so I explored my new home and found church, library, shopping, and garden nurseries that we would patronize for years. We made friendships then that we still enjoy today. We made a home in a neighborhood that was perfect for our young family. There were lots of children home during the day with their moms and plenty of beautiful weather to play in outside. Our children grew and thrived in our little piece of paradise to adulthood and now our relationships are long distance ones. Number one son lives in Utah to be near rocks to climb and snow to ride. Baby girl goes to school in the pursuit of athletic training and hopes to spend lots of time in Italy. Her twin brother is chomping at the bit to get back to California to continue the dream of a rock climbing equipment company. Only our oldest daughter still lives at home but is gone so much putting on parties and weddings for folks that we hardly ever see her.
Well, this past weekend we had everyone home for the first time in over a year. It took us no time at all to fall back into the old comfortable feeling of warmth and security. Just seeing every one's face and having easy conversation was heavenly. Being able to reach over and touch my son's arm and see his beautiful smile is a closeness I've missed for months. Of course, it all went by too fast. Baby girl got in her car and drove off early Tuesday morning and yesterday we took Number one son to the airport in the gray, drizzly afternoon. Now my heart is broken all over again. The time we spend together as a family is so precious and I will relive it over and over again. There will be a handful of photographs of us next to each other at the beach to peer at. But right now I'm so jealous of the families who live close to each other and have Sunday dinner together every weekend. As proud as I am of my children's independence and pioneering spirit, it is in direct conflict with my wish to have them around all the time. One instinct is from the head, the other is from the heart. The struggle between the two rages on.