The house at night filled with kids crowded into the kitchen….greeting me with big smiles and big hugs….the sounds of boisterous boys……tromping up the back stairs to Daniel’s room…..waking up to a lazy Sunday morning….. making a big breakfast ……Daniel stretched out on the couch in his regular spot watching Entourage and Curb Your Enthusiasm.….
Am I dreaming? I rub my eyes. It’s real; as solid as my son’s strong arms when they enclose me in a hug.
It’s real; at least for the few hours left till Daniel starts on the long trip back home to school in Wisconsin, which is his “real” home right now .
It’s also real that this dream-that-is-not-a-dream will end when I drop him at the airport—the simultaneous national ritual going on today for millions of parents.
Tomorrow morning we all wake up again to our new reality— the reality of my favorite saying:
The best gifts we can give our children are roots….and wings.
Though sometimes having an empty nest might be sad; in its way, this new reality is also a dream come true:
Seeing them enjoy their roots and wings is the precious gift our children give back to us.