Church, airport, haircuts, good-byes, and adventures…that is today.
I felt behind the power curve, even before I was dressed. How will I fit everything in? How will I give special time to each of my children? My twins, to be exact. How will I squeeze in church? Even thinking that-squeezing in church-gives a pang of guilt. Since today is Palm Sunday, I didn’t want to skip church. Giving God first place is important to me, so I reviewed the possible schedule for today in my mind: early service instead of 9:30, say good-bye to Maggie, give Davie a haircut, help him finish washing and packing, say a second good-bye, then… the slice, walking.
The early service wasn’t very full so I sat down at the back of the sanctuary, near the door so I could sneak out a minute or two early. The sermon drew a connection between the life of Job and the life of Christ. I admit, my mind kept losing focus…the children, the slice for the day, getting everything done. I forced my thoughts back to the sermon. My mind wandered to what it must have been like for Jesus to know that these crowds who were cheering him today would, in the next few days, be shouting, “Crucify him! Crucify him!”? The closing song, the benediction-my signals to be ready to dart to the door and zoom across the parking lot to my car.
After a brief drive home, I pulled the car into the driveway and went into the house. My daughter was “stylin’” in her black bowler and peasant shirt. A true measure of her happiness, her chatter was like a melody filling the house. Flitting around. Zipping suitcases. Checking a passport. Her joy bubbled out in her smiles and sparkling eyes. The airport awaited and, at the end of her journey, her fiancé. Life is unfolding before her.
In the midst of this activity, her brother appeared in the kitchen wearing baggy sweat pants and a muscle shirt. “Are you ready to go? Are you packed?” I asked.
“I need to put a few things in the dryer, but I want to go to the gym,” he replied.
“How long will you stay?”
“I will be back about 12.”
My heart felt like it was exploding with happiness. I will be able to go the the airport with Maggie! I’ll be able to be back by 12, too. Yea!
The trip to the airport flew by. My husband and I gave all the usual parental advice in between Maggie’s happy litany of dreamy expectations and hopes for her journey. The car moved to the curb by the Delta drop-off. Popping the trunk, my husband lifted the suitcases out. Pictures. Hugs. Kisses. My hand grabbed the handle of the purple suitcase, “I’m coming in until I know you’ve checked your bags.” In we went. Printing tickets. Standing in line.
“Put your bags here,” the airline worker said. Forty-nine pounds. Thirty-eight pounds. Whew! Just right! Not too heavy. “Have a great flight. You will be boarding at gate 4D,” the worker added with a compulsory smile. More hugs. More kisses. Then, smiling and turning, she walked toward her next adventure!
The traffic was light on the way home, no delays. At five after twelve, we pulled back into the driveway. Davey was already home. I walked in, knowing my next task-cut hair. More conversation. This time, it was calmer, asking for advice, last minute questions. “Just a trim, Mom,” he said as he set down the scissors, comb, and buzzer on the kitchen table. One of the reasons I cut his hair is because he is so picky about it. I trim. He zips in the bathroom to check it in the mirror. “What about his bump here, Mom? Are there any straggling hairs? Don’t forget to thin the top. Do you think I’ll go bald? Is my hairline thinning?” So much mundane, everyday talk. Talk that I love. How I’ll miss this! How I’ll miss him!
Picking up a few bags, I followed Davey out the front door, down the step, across the sidewalk. More hugs. More kisses-but only before his friend arrives to pick him up. Even Gracie, the Golden Retriever, came to say goodbye. Then, smiling and turning, he walked toward his next adventure.
How I’ll miss them! How I’ll miss them!