Monday, May 30, 2016

Pillow Talk

John, Nicole & Luke on Venice Beach

They burst through the door and plopped on my bed at 6 am this Memorial Day.

My two handsome, long-limbed sons had just landed on the red-eye from LAX.

In newly-adopted, thick Boston accents John and Luke proceeded to share story after story about the fun stuff they did while visiting their sister.

I lay there in bed laughing my head off, while they deliriously recounted tales of the drunk lady on the plane, shooting baskets on Venice beach, and needing to throw up after eating the world's largest pumpkin pancakes.

I felt so much like my mother.

How many times would I come in from a party or high school show, plop on her bed, wake her up, and tell her all about it.

My mom would be so entertained. She'd soak up every word, with this massive smile sprawled across her face. I especially loved it when my brother(s) would be in there with me, razzle-dazzling her with stupid details and uproarious laughter.

Now I totally get it.

About an hour ago between newscasts, I called my daughter to see how she was doing all the way out there in California alone, now that her brothers were gone. She was sunbathing in Malibu. (I know, tough life.)

Visiting their sister at UCLA

"Mom, I'm so glad they came. I had forgotten how fun my brothers are!"

And to think this trip almost didn't happen.

I credit my Dallas girlfriend for making it easy to pull the trigger, once we found reasonable last-minute tickets and a plan that worked.

For decades Sharon had a very real fear that she wouldn't be alive to see her children grow up. She told me recently that she promised her now 20-something son and daughter, that there would always be an account to cover travel costs, whenever the siblings wanted to see each other.

That powerful story forever changed my perspective to seize the moment and not take opportunities to hang out for granted. I am committed to financing such special visits for John, Nicole, and Luke to help keep these siblings close.

I have no doubt the days they spent together in California will pay a lifetime of dividends in memories.

I can't wait to hear more silly stories and conversations trickle out over the years.

Particularly, if they happen at 6 am.


Tuesday, May 24, 2016

The Mother's Day High That Just Won't Die

Mother's Day weekend wine tasting with my Johnny

 Oh, these college years.

They're like an insidious torture device.

First, you're forced to let your kids go after the super-glue-bonding, high school years.

Just when you finally get used to the quietness and same-ole, same-ole routine of you and your spouse, they come back to visit.

They fill your home with hi-jinks and laughter, only to leave again.

You can barely bear the silence.

Then they come back for a weekend like Mother's Day and smother love and kindness all over you.

Luke and John making me feel SO VERY LOVED on Mother's Day

And then they leave again.

And don't even get me started on May.

 Luke has been out of school for almost the entire month.

Luke playing the theme from The Office. Over and over and over again.

I have been RELISHING the meal making, constant conversation, delightful expressions and bonus hugs.

But in two days he'll be gone again.

What the heck? Who does this to people????!!!!

I realize some of you parents are shouting hallelujah that your kids have finally launched. You are loving the me-time, clean house, and spare bedrooms. You are cherishing the quiet evenings sipping wine with your spouse.

I am clearly not one of your kind.

The good news is, my husband isn't either.

Late-night dinner in Lexington after a last-minute road trip.
Hey...that's ONE bonus to being an empty nester!

This morning Frank made our temporary, only-child-for-the-moment, the most picture-perfect French toast, worthy of a Pancake Pantry poster.

As I headed to get ready for work, Frank was taking his little buddy to the gym, followed by some sort of golf shopping outing.

My husband loves hanging out with his kids just as much as I do.

Maybe we're just weird...which could totally be the case...but family is something else to us. There is simply nothing like it.

Natural highs like these need to be embraced and savored.

You never know when they'll come again.

Kinda like these parenting years.

Their childhoods went by in the blink of an eye.

So I'm sucking the joy out of every moment with them, every chance I get.

Nicole Elizabeth, you're next...

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