Susan's Blog

Friday, August 1, 2008

There’s No Place Like Home

But most of it was beautiful. But just the same, all I kept saying to everybody was, ‘I want to go home.’ And they sent me home…Oh, but anyway, Toto, we’re home! Home! And this is my room – and you’re all here! And I’m not gonna leave here ever, ever again because I love you all! – And oh, Auntie Em, there’s no place like home. There’s no place like home.

Natty is home. I am not going to be able to get enough hugging and kissing in because, just like his brothers, this guy needs his space! But I am used to adoring from a distance, and I will just let my eyes drink him in.

A little while ago he went upstairs, and I found him curled up on my bed. Sometimes he likes to nap there. I lay down next to him, facing his back, and asked him about his new house. His voice was small and muffled; he wanted to just sleep.

I found myself sobbing quietly, not wanting him to know, as terrible feelings of loss washed over me. I felt transported back, way back, to our first house, in Arlington, when Nat was just a baby. I remember laying down in my bed with him next to me, hoping we could just nap there. But Little Nat thought I was playing a game. Every few seconds he would raise his sweet head and look at me and laugh. All he wanted to do was to keep playing this game. It was so cute, and even though I was so tired, I just lay there and kept “playing.”

We never did learn to do that Family Bed thing. I always wanted to, but somehow, well, like I said, we all need our space in this family.

The memory of Little Nat and the sleep game danced before my eyes, almost as real as the sleeping Nat in front of me. It seems like now that he’s back, for just tonight, I am more keenly aware than ever that those days are over, those sweet days when I was a young mother and had my baby with me all the time. He now has a different home, and that is the way it is supposed to be. But that doesn’t keep me from feeling the loss: of both something I did have, and something I never quite had.

But — never mind all that. It is just so good to have him here; to have all my guys home with me. Three strapping young men, with their lives stretching out ahead of them, the hot blue sky overhead’s the limit.

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