On the road
Mike and I have been on the road for over two weeks, meandering across the Midwest, discarding empty photo albums and photos, delivering antiques, and visiting friends and family. Now holed up in SD’s garden level guest room, we are in Chicago awaiting the birth of C-boy and P-Dil’s first child.
My life as a church musician meant that Easter was a BIG deal, marked for me by exhaustion. This year we spent Easter apart from ED and the boys, the first time in my life that I didn’t dye eggs. We were on the road moving from Ohio to Chicago following a lovely brunch hosted by Mike’s aunt Shirley.
I sent digital Starbucks gift cards to each of the kids to mark the special day. Everyone replied lovingly. Blue Boy even added “I love you.”
Mowgli is a loving, generous kid, but responds rarely to messages. Does he realize we aren’t home? It was days before I received notice that he had opened the email.
My mother put the burden of communication on the kids. When she complained that we never called, we installed an answering machine: yes we called; you weren’t home. Pick up the phone and call us back.
My children are busy with family, work, and school. The grandkids are kids. I accept the responsibility of staying connected, texting regularly. Most often they reply.
Except Mowgli. It has occurred to me that he does this intentionally, a type of joke. Like when my nephew would answer my mother’s phone calls with an accent, feigning the wrong number. It was a “thing” between them.
Children learn early about object permanence, establishing trust in the laws of nature. At the other end of life, we face impermanence, mortality. I don’t want Mowgli to be burdened that his poop emoticon may be the last connection between us. I want him to know that I laughed when I saw it.