Home always where the heart is

Last July I was watching the Canada Day fireworks with my 20-year-old daughter and all I could think about when I looked at her was that the celebration we were sharing was among the last time for things of the home child.
I was bucking against the truth that the living with each other moments of quiet mutual presence, and the mother/daughter mysteries of tolerance that we had been grooming, soon would be over.
What did I know for sure on that night in July? Life was going to change for the both of us.
I miss my Heather. I haven’t seen her since the end of August and on that day when the calendar with all the big X’s on it that hung on the wall in her bedroom finally had landed on the departure day for college, there was little time for weeping warriors of parenthood.
Heather was far too excited to get the mud out of her wings to be mired in the blubbering arms of her mother. She’d had her bags packed for weeks, dreaming the big and best dreams a young, aspiring woman can have of heading off to the big city and a three-year college course some 1,400 km away.
I remember feeling slighted ever so slightly when she bolted from my grasp in the parking lot and threw her suitcases into the trunk of her friend’s car, shouting “Goodbye, Mom!” as she jumped into the front seat and took off for her future.
Perhaps it was for the best not lingering on farewells and snivels.
I saved the big sob for my lonely drive back to the house. I felt like a strand of “Twizzlers Pull-n-Peel.” Part of me was separating.
But change is good. Change has opened me up to love again, write more, and live louder.
As I sit here on a Monday morning in my writing sweater, with my writing music and my cup of writing coffee (strong, strong, strong), I get all pumped up because I’m going to see Miss Heather again when she bunks in for the Christmas holidays.
I couldn’t be more excited if Oprah Winfrey called me. Well, maybe that would make me more excited, but . . . I am very excited to see my Heather on Saturday.
And when she walks through the gates at the Thunder Bay airport that morning, rest assured she will hear me before she sees me when I break open in my “Bose” surround sound voice of motherly anticipation.
She will smile and roll her eyes, and turn around and pretend to re-board the plane. I will laugh and cry and jump around, and she will say “Mother” in a drawn-out low tone of voice
I have heard a million times over that means, “For Heaven’s sake could you just act normal just this once.”
The four-hour drive home will fly by and we’ll wonder where the time went. The dogs will realize who she is the moment she steps from the car in the driveway and her heart will melt at the sight of them.
Then will come the moment when she’ll walk in and take another leap at growing up—when she realizes that the age-old saying, “You can’t go home again,” is true.
It’s all good in my world, but life has changed around here and a part of me is melancholy for the moment one’s child understands this because I remember what that felt like as a young woman away at school and who came home to find that the world didn’t stop turning when I left.
The Greek philosopher Heraclitus (540-480 BC) said, “You could not step twice into the same river, for other waters are ever flowing on to you.” Smart ancient man.
Yet as Fredrick Robertson penned—and I know is true: “Home is the one place in all this world where hearts are sure of each other. It is the place of confidence. . . .”
I can’t wait to see you. I love you around the world and back again in a circle never-ending.
By the way, some things never change. You have to wash the supper dishes.

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