We’ve been inundated with fits of young-girl giggles and wrestling matches. I’ve witnessed my kids all over each other, savoring the closeness of being together—all six of us—for the first time in seven and a half weeks. Holden is home, if only briefly and it is good for all of us, to be “us”…
I was straining not to step into the security zone as I eagerly waited and finally saw my oldest walking towards us in the airport concourse. A grin was plastered across his face as he spied us. Holden carried his duffle bag in his right hand, backpack strapped to his back, one ear-bud in and the other dangling down towards his left shoulder. He looked taller and older in the time he had been at school. His hair was definitely in need of a trim.
Finally, I was able to touch him, to stand up on my tippy-toes, throw my arms around my son and kiss him. I was crying and didn’t want to let go, but it was important that I share him.
“I missed you so much, Mama,” Holden kept repeating.
Mark gave him another big teary hug and Greyson threw himself into Holden, requiring a mid-air catch. Aubry wrapped herself all over him, guiding him to our parked car with an arm around his waist and a satisfied smile on her face. Josi was less demonstrative, but her happy and quiet closeness was palpable. A close friend, who was also present to welcome him and was picking up another close friend arriving in another concourse, was all but forgotten as we made our way home.
Homecoming is incredible, but it is also bittersweet—tinged with sadness because Holden will leave to return to college. And his departure once again reminds us that we are now in this new chapter of parenthood, parent-child, and sibling-sibling relationships. We are really letting go. He is growing up and away, but hopefully he will always return, feeling welcomed and oh-so-loved.