Perfect Timing

When we got home from Florida last night, I put all the electronic reading devices away for a while, and ran straight to my library book bag where a fresh stack of bound books was waiting for me.  What to read?  During the holiday, I finished The Castaways, by Elin Hilderbrand, who has recently become one of my favorite authors in the women’s fiction category.  I had just dipped into The Girl Who Played With Fire, the second in the famous Steig Larrson trilogy, but there is something razor-sharp and vicious about those books, and I felt too tender last night to continue with it.  So I pulled The Charming Quirks of Others, an Isabel Dalhousie novel, out of the bag and immediately felt I had found my book.  I needed the quiet charm of Alexander McCall Smith’s heroine, was desperate for her good common sense and her pure approach to life, was hungry for the quiet companionship of her gentle nature.

I returned from this trip a bit sore at heart, for a chapter of our lives has closed this Christmas.  My son, whose home in Florida was just down the road from ours, will be moving to Texas next week.  It’s a wonderful opportunity for him, and while I am excited and pleased (of course I am!) for him, I’m also confronted once again with the specter of change, and reminded that our children are never really our children, but “the sons and daughters of life’s longing for itself.”

So I was lying in my bed late last night, reading myself to sleep as I always do, and Isabel Dalhousie, my good literary friend, suddenly describes exactly what I’m feeling as she hurries home to greet her  two year old son:

…she would have to rush to be home when Charlie arrived.  She wanted to be there in the hall…to hold him tightly against her, which he allowed, but only for a few seconds, before he began to struggle to escape her embrace.  That was the lot of the mother of sons; one embraced and held them, but even in their tenderness they were struggling to get away, and they would.

Oh, yes, they definitely would.



10 thoughts on “Perfect Timing

  1. I understand how you feel. This was a weird Christmas for us. My eldest was away from home for the first time, my husband went to visit him before Christmas and my other son and I left the day after to go see my brother and his family. Lots of coming and going and a missing face around the tree.

    May you New Year be a happy one.

  2. Yes so true! With one son in Singapore and the other living in Germany I know how you feel: you just cannot catch up so easily anymore. Have a very happy new year – at least you’re on the same continent!

  3. “…I put all the electronic reading devices away for a while, and ran straight to my library book bag…” this is just so heart-warming! And the quote from Isabel Dalhousie, whom I admit I have not heard of, is so moving and true. I must check out her books. My son who is hundreds of miles away from home at college, is graduating in 2011, and will continue on to professional school. So it will be another 3 years away from home. Mothers and sons… what an intriguing relationship.

    Have a Happy New Year, Becca, you and yours, and enjoy all your 2011 reads!

  4. I loved this post. Your conclusion nailed it. May you have many consolations in your separation from your beloved son. Thanks for your comment on my blog and have a very happy new year.

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