Our family is spread out by nearly 7,000 miles right now. Marci, Olivia, and Cor are at home in Ohio. Elliot is on a ten-day trip to Israel. And I’m in Colorado for work. We’re all doing well — better than usual in some ways, honestly. We’re riding roller coasters at Cedar Point… rafting down the Jordan River… and hiking in the Rocky Mountains. But it’s a strange, unfamiliar tension to be so far apart from each other in these adventures. It feels like a glimpse into the future. A glimpse of an Empty Nest, when all our baby birds have grown up and flown off. And even though that is the goal of raising children (to help them reach adulthood), it just feels weird.
I miss my kids.
Olivia and Cor had a big choir concert this evening. They each had special parts, and it sounds like they did really well (getting my information through text messages from friends and a few video clips sent to me by Marci). Sometimes I can be kind of crotchety about obligatory parental attendance at school-sponsored extracurricular activities. But I truly ached to be in that auditorium tonight. The POPs Concert is probably the best musical performance of the year. And I was 1,300 miles away.
We’ve kept up a pretty lively banter on our family text messaging group. But I find myself wondering, “What is Elliot doing right now?” and “Why doesn’t he send more pictures?” I thirst for contact. In whatever form I can get it. But I have to remind myself that it’s good for my kids to not be glued to their phones. Especially when there are so many interesting things happening in the real world(s) around them. They should be singing and dancing and sand-surfing. They should be enjoying themselves. Like songbirds soaring and singing in the meadows.
But I’m definitely listening for that birdsong. And smiling whenever I can catch a snatch of their trill.