Since always

Last night four teenage boys did just about everything they could think of to persuade us to let them have an epic sleepover. Four boys who became fast and furious “bros” back in July when my son’s two best friends visited us in California and met my nephew and family for the first time.

They offered to clear the table, do the dishes, make breakfast…they begged and pleaded and in the end when we said no for a multitude of reasons, not the least of which was sheer exhaustion on the part of every adult in the room, they quietly accepted their fate. After everyone went home, my son and his cousin set their minds to booby-trapping the upstairs hallway with duct tape and hiding their electronics under the covers (I have a strict no electronics after 8pm rule). Last night I looked the other way.

We are a bicoastal family. My son and I spend six to seven weeks every summer in LA. Summer is sacred to us. It’s our time with my family. And while I know the separation is hard on my husband (he flies out when he can, between work commitments) and my in-laws, I can’t imagine ever giving it up or cutting it short. It is the light at the end of the tunnel, the inspiration that gets my son through the school year and me through just about everything. It makes me appreciate what I have, my life here in NY, and cherish what once was. When I settled on the east coast nearly 30 years ago, I did so with the certainty that my life as I knew it on the west coast would simply go on without me. And while much has changed over the years, I am still anchored by my mother, by the house I grew up in, by the people who have known me since always.

I don’t know what this summer will bring. I don’t know where I’ll be in my recovery and treatment six months from now. But I do know this: with or without me, my son will have his summer in LA. His sacred time with his “bro” and his family. He will have his nana and their strange ritual of shopping for a new car that no one ever buys, his days by the pool and at the beach, he will have his uncle and the taco truck, his cousin and endless rounds of Forza on the xbox.

In all the uncertainty that lies ahead, I am grateful for the certainty of this one thing. My son is blessed with two homes and two loving families and a village of his own. They have known him since always and they will be his anchor, they will not let him drift.

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