He left this morning, this oldest boy of mine. I should have been zipping him into a bright red snowsuit, kissing him on the nose, and sending him outside to play with his brothers. Instead, early in the morning, I stood in an airport, tiptoed up to kiss his bearded cheek and whispered I love you into his ear. Time really does fly.
I had him for three wonderfully ordinary weeks, full of the glory of doing nothing special. Yesterday, though, I felt the temptation to make the last day meaningful. I’ve made this mistake before.
Nothing ruins precious time more than the pressure to BE MEANINGFUL.
I’ve learned it’s better to spend the days with open hands, letting the time run freely through my fingers until there isn’t any left, and I am gentle with myself and my few tears, because I’m his mom and I love him and it’s all so very precious without me having to make it so.
Today I was supposed to go shopping.
It’s my last day in India, and I had planned to spend it in the markets in Delhi. I’d thought I’d buy a cashmere shawl, maybe, or some earrings for myself, and maybe snap a few more photographs of this ridiculous, frantic city.
Instead, I am in the hotel. My son is sick, so I’m a mom instead of a tourist, and my last chance to see India before going home is a bust.
I’ve been a bit concerned about going home, to be honest. After seven weeks in India, the thought of landing back home just as the Christmas season is gearing up is daunting. I’ve been wearying myself with the thought of trying to put together a short-order Christmas in a borrowed house in a new town.
But, today, my child is sick, and I find myself immediately okay with stepping out of my India shoes and slipping on my taking-care-of-my-family ones. It’s time.
Soon, I will hug my dears and sleep in my bed and drink real coffee. I will put on some Christmas music, then, and bake pecan tarts and decorate the tree and watch corny holiday shows with my husband.
India is over, and home is calling.