How old are you when you realize that somebody leaving to go back to Oklahoma means a very long time of seperation? I guess 3 1/2 years because for the first time tonight as we celebrated our family by having dinner together, before the Pitcher heads back to the "child stealing state" aka Oklahoma, the Deeds laid down on the carpet and was sad when it was time to leave.
I can tell you, I am sad, Dann is sad, the newlyweds will miss him, Dot's "puddy pal" will leave an emptiness, but so far, when the Pitcher heads out, the Deeds treats the departure like he'll be seeing Unca Wyan tomorrow. Until tonight. And at 3 1/2 he is lacking in the sophistication we have that covers our sadness. At 3 1/2 when you are sad, you frown, sigh, cry and whimper about how long and how far and how much you are already missing a best friend.
So before he nearly caused us all to come undone, he suggested we all cuddle together, all us big bodies and his. I think he just wanted to soak in the closeness and hold onto it as long as he could. So we all laid down next to him, bellys to the floor, heads in a circle, all hands in the middle and started to tell him our favorite things about today together and the past few weeks. It seemed to give words to feelings and helped turn his sadness into a mind full of memories at least for the moment.
Spontaneous, tender, honest, transparent and thoroughly heart warming and heart breaking at the same time. If everyday could only be as sweet, and I wish we had thought of it before the newlyweds left because there was some firefighting play that happened before dinner that should have surely been part of our favorites.
I have to remember that if I didn't love them all so much, it wouldn't be nearly as difficult to say goodbye, again. But, they were not born to fulfill the whims of my heart and hours in my day. They each have their own adventures to experience and roads to travel, plans God has for them and dreams they have for themselves.
If 3 1/2 is the age you begin to understand and feel seperation from the ones you love, I hope I wake up tomorrow just shy of that age, because 10:30am will surely come and the truck will drive away and my heart will break just a little bit again. Ah, if it weren't so wonderful to be their mom, it wouldn't be so hard. But wonderful it is! Wonderful! Hard and wonderful!