I stepped out from the car onto the pavement of the “Departures” area and peeked at Sweet Pea, who was content to play with her bee toy in her carseat. Then I hauled my mom’s orange suitcase out of the trunk and turned to hug her. As soon as my face met the fabric of her shirt, the tears started to flow.
“I hate it when you leave.” My words were muffled, as I buried my wet face into her neck and shoulder, but she got the idea.
“But we will get to see each other again soon.”
This was true. We have a wedding come up. And then I go back to Rhode Island for a long visit this summer. This takes away some of the sting.
You might think it gets a little easier every time, but I cry every time my mom and I part ways at an airport. It doesn’t matter which of us is the one who leaves. It’s just as likely to happen at TF Green as it is at Denver International.
You might assume I get weepy because I am overwhelmed, wondering who is going to whip up lunches for Sweet Pea, easily mend the the J. Crew skirt I got at Goodwill for $3.50, or organize my tupperware cabinet once she’s left. And maybe that’s part of it. Who doesn’t treasure the capable and willing hands of a mother?
But it’s more than that. It’s the mom-ness of her- that makes you feel safe, loved, and at home. Not that home isn’t the place where the mail piles up, the basement floods once in a while, and you sometimes forget to dump a poopy diaper into the toilet and you walk in the nursery an hour later and you’re like “Oh my god what stinks?” Home is definitely that place.
Home is also the place where spontaneous dancing in the kitchen occurs (sometimes with the baby, sometimes without). It’s where a vase full of flowers picked from the front yard by Dan and Sweet Pea might greet you when you walk in the door after work.
But home isn’t just a place. It’s also the feeling I get when I’m with my mom. And the older I get the more I realize, I don’t think I’m going to outgrow it.