All my kids are in the house this morning. It’s strange to have the teens here as visitors, suitcases in the guest room, folded-up quilts at the foot of the bed. Yesterday I took them (of course) to Powell’s, then to the vintage shops and lunch at Deschutes, very touristy. We are finding a new equilibrium as adults in the world together. I am still their mother, of course. I’ll be here for whatever they need. But I didn’t offer the house as a residence or beg them to move to Portland as I thought I would. That hand has been played. Portland is and always has been my dream, and they have dreams of their own, and needs and plans and big bright ideas for what their futures may hold. I can accept that. I can buy their plane tickets and reel them in at Christmas and we’ll bake cookies and decorate the tree and shop for odd little gifts to wrap and tuck underneath, and in the meantime there are the nine hundred internet means for keeping in touch. There are care packages to send and phone calls to make. There are lives to lead, for all of us.
Tomorrow I will work on my manuscript. I’ll wash the sheets and deflate the air mattress. Restock the cupboards and cook a dinner for three. Life will resume along its current trajectory and I’ll get back to work. And if the bedroom looks too empty when I pass by, I’ll close the door and crank up the Fleetwood Mac and try like hell to remember that mothering is about more than the wing and the nest.
How do you handle change?