On our way to the Nashville International Airport, Boe and I reviewed all the lessons learned during my week long visit. First a little Arabic…
Di´ddy Di´ddy is what you say when you hit your head or your arm or some other extremity on something that hurts! Repeat over and over while hitting the guilty object until the hurt is gone. Fa´dush! That’s what you say when someone sneezes. I think it means God Bless You. If a person is coughing or choking on something, place your hand on their back and tap lightly while repeating Sa´ha! And lastly, when dinner is ready get yourself to the table in a hurry! Ya´la!
Next, some basic manners. Boe, keep your foot to yourself when in the car seat or Sitti will have to take a bite out of it! Also, make sure you sit on your teezee (bottom, buttocks, bum) in the bathtub and when riding in your red wagon.
Now, a grammar lesson. In the south, BBQ is a NOUN, not a verb!
ASSWHATIMTALKINABOUT says Uncle Mickey!
We’ve arrived now at the airport. “No long goodbyes, Boe. I will see you soon! Chin up! Ok.. just one more bite of your toes!
Standing at the curb, I wave and watch as Peter, Breezy and Boe pull away. I didn’t want to cry and be THAT gramma. But as I walked through the airport terminal every little baby squeal or laugh reminds me of Boe. Every sweet kiss and snuggle. That baby smell. Those contemplative blue eyes.
When my boys were little we read to them a series of books entitled “Choose Your Adventure”. In each book, the reader would get to choose how the story progressed and make decisions at each impasse. Until they would reach the final destination.
As parents, that’s pretty much what we strive for. We want our children to choose their own path, set goals and create their own lives. We begin to train them when they are little- pick up your toys, get ready for school, comb your hair, do your homework! We continue (with added fervor) when they become teenagers- get a job, save your money, go to college! We long to have our own lives back and to be able to traverse life unencumbered by the awesome demands of parenthood. Well, at least for a day or so. 😌
So when my son announced that his little family was going to move across the country- 2000 plus miles away- like a good parent, I listened, showed my best game face, and celebrated. Isn’t this what I prepared him for all along?
And amidst the confusion, sadness and eventual resolution, there came a profound epiphany. Life has a funny way of turning the tables. Our children become our mentors. Their adventures become our adventures. They teach us that we also get to choose. And there is, indeed, life after parenting. That the world is vast and there may be no place like home, but there are also journeys and experiences and adventures to be had- near and far. 👠
So, in the wise words of Max from the children’s book Where the Wild Things Are… dry your tears onehipdiva and “Let the wild rumpus begin”!
Oh, Rosemarie, tell me more. Is this a career move? Tennessee is a beautiful state. We have friends there. We also know a family who lives in Kentucky. I can’t imagine the many emotions you must be experiencing, but I love your last paragraph. In so many ways, life is one big, wild rumpus. Antoine de Saint-Exupery has a wonderful line I’ve always liked: “Love does not consist in gazing at each other, but in looking outward together in the same direction.” I like to think these words describe the journey of a family — each member perhaps taking a different road to the same destination; each seeing a contrasting perspective in the same painting; each hearing a divergent cadence in the same musical composition. Family is a journey homeward bound; a rumpus, yes, but our gaze is a shared vision of love. Wrapping prayerful thoughts around you this evening, my courageous friend. xoxoxoxoxoxo
Tears rolled down my face as I read this. I’m all for adventures, but not at the point yet where I’m able to let go. Boe is so lucky to have a Siti like you who will teach him all kinds of things – like how to make a mean hummus, stuff grape leaves, sing, dance, and have loads of fun. I can hardly wait to meet your first grandson.