Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Happy Birthday, Mom

All that I am and hope to be I owe to my mother.
- Abraham Lincoln

The Deck

Last week, Henry and I were on the back deck, just hanging out. Well, I was hanging out and he did the two-year-version of hanging out…

“Mommy, wook (look), an airplane!”
“Mommy, I heawr an airplane!”
(Run in a circle. Jump up on the bench. Hands in the pockets.)
“Oooohhh, Mommy, wook, a twee (tree)!”

As I’ve been trying to do as of late, I just enjoyed the connectedness and peace of the moment with Henry.

Then, he says,

“Mommy, who is dat?”

I look over and see our neighbor, Miss Ida, out on her back deck. A man stood with her, looking up at the sky and around her yard.

“That’s Miss Ida”, I quietly told Henry, “our neighbor.”


Miss Ida smiles and yells over the fence, “Hi Henry! Denise, this is my son, Greg.” We exchange hellos.

Miss Ida is about 90. (She was married to her first husband during World War II.) Greg is probably somewhere in his mid 60s. It struck me that although they’ve lived a lot more life than I, and now live it in different states, there Miss Ida and her son were, hanging out together on the back deck.

Mother and son, mother and son. Each on the back deck. One gently preparing to launch her son and the other tenderly receiving her son’s landing, his return home.

It was both symbolic and reassuring, knowing that even though those daily mother-son moments become less frequent in their recurrence, they continue. Continue to comfort and flow through decades and generations.

Maybe it comforts me because I am hopeful that Henry will always come home. Maybe it’s because I’ll always be his mom. And maybe it’s because he’ll always be my son, returning to the back deck, hands in his pockets, checking out the world.