Being cross for a week does not make a lady enjoyable company. Every time my son goes away, my fretful nature hijacks the controls and takes me for a joy-ride (or a doomride, as it were). Solitude leaves me with too much time on my hands. The long-awaited freedom to “get some work done” takes me on a detour where thoughts spin out at 95mph and the engine burns into the red zone before sputtering out.
It is these sorts of weeks that have me deciding it is time to pursue a PhD or get a second job, start dating or never date again, expand my social circle or remove my broken self from the friendships I am surely already screwing up. Without the ritual of waking to his sleepy voice, without the practical choices the day sets before us (Waffles or pancakes, Buddy? Should we ride the metro to DC or go cut a Christmas tree?) I notice long-ignored pings in the engine and go wrestling the whole beast up onto the hydraulic lift.
What good does it serve, plunging my hands up in there? Still, who can resist? I poke into every dark corner seeking the missing piece and come out choking on grease.
Then he returns.
Every time my son comes home, I tuck my arms around him to sing him down to sleep. Everything slides back to ground level. The engine chugs to life.
It is a wonder how quickly I forget that Bug’s absence is the trigger for all my wrongness. It is a blessing how easily his presence restores me.