Linking up with Jen today:
I am leaving tomorrow…catching one of those rare flights-by-myself and I am anxious. But life doesn’t stop for my neuroses and there are patients that need seen and boys need to go to music lessons and it’s Bible study night for Jeff. But when I am getting ready to leave with the boys, he surprises me and comes along.
You’ll be late, I say. But he shrugs it off and holds my eyes and my heart with that small step into my neuroses.
We drive through the rain. It always rains on Tuesdays. But usually I am driving through it and tonight I sit in the passenger seat and mentally check things off my list.
While the boys make music we dodge raindrops in the square and order Chinese food to go. I’m craving egg-drop soup and I can’t sip this golden broth without remembering when we first started dating and I had the flu. It was the only thing I wanted and he obliged. Maybe I fell in love with him that day because he sat with me as I shivered and sipped and was so attentive as I had never experienced. Maybe.
We sit in the entry and wait for our take-out with a grandfather who is holding his grandson up to see the fish in the giant aquarium. A little boy and his mother bustle out of the dining room and as she pays, he runs to the fish tank, all–hey, mom, look! And stuff.
The man with the baby steps out of the way and the baby sneezes and the little boy says, are you okay? to a little one who doesn’t talk yet. And then he holds his hand out to the grandpa.
My name is Emitt. What’s your name?
Hi, Emmitt. I’m Sam.
He shakes the little boy’s hand.
Emmitt looks Sam up and down and sees his slacks and nice dress shirt.
Are you a president?
His voice is filled with awe and Jeff turns his back to this odd trio and grins at me.
No, Emmitt, I’m not a president.
Sam is smiling too.
Just then our order is ready and we take our brown bag and leave Emmitt and Sam to their conversation.
We wait for the boys and he tells me about work, about the new tenured position that has opened up.
Does she want you to apply? I ask.
I’m excited and scared, and it would be great, but I’m not sure I’m ready to move all the way back into academics, he says.
And I listen and the smell of the food makes me happy and the van is warm and the rain falls in droplets on the windows.
I am in love.
When the boys were babies and we needed some time for just the two of us, we sometimes would take them to stay with their grandparents for a couple hours. I remember that I read in a parenting magazine that it is easier for young children to separate if they are the ones who leave the parents behind. Grammy and Papa tried picking them up and I would stand at the window and wave them goodbye.
It was hard to watch them leave. But they smiled and waved as they drove away. From. Me.
On the way back home the boys chatter and dad jokes and I stare through the trees on the surrounding hills. The trees are covered with down—the leaves just beginning to open. They look like tiny green florets, moss covering these naked branches. Redbud peppers the hillside.
I know it. If I want to walk on water…I have to get out of the boat.
Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!” (Matt. 14:29-30)
I wonder what if felt like to sink, to feel the wind. But then…to be lifted up out of the cold depths.
Don’t see the wind, I whisper to myself. Don’t see the wind.
The sky is still grey as we pull into the driveway. We are home. And the rain keeps falling.