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Missing a kid who isn't really gone

artist unknown
I just can't believe it's so
And though it seems strange to say
I never been laid so low
In such a mysterious way
And the course of a lifetime runs
Over and over again.

But I would not give you false hope

On this strange and mournful day
But the mother and child reunion
Is only a motion away
Oh the mother and child reunion
Is only a motion away.

 - "Mother and Child Reunion", Paul Simon

I was sitting on the couch the other night next to Curly-Haired Daughter.  We were doing our nails and trying to decide if the TV show we were watching was really cool or really stupid.  It suddenly struck me that she was going to be gone, very, very soon:  off to college, a new and exciting part of her life.  And a little piece of my heart fell out.

Dark-Haired Daughter, as regular readers know, has been gone for months, living in a treatment facility for bi-polar illness.  It's a different absence with her:  her presence at home was so tumultuous that having her gone has been a blessing in many ways.  And yet, when I talk to her on the phone, it's not enough.  It's still a bit of my heart missing.

I have to admit that my relationship with Eldest Son is poor right now.  He's making life choices I really cannot abide, and our last phone conversation ended with him angrily telling me,  "Stay out of my business."  I am befuddled to know how any child's business is not the mother's business, but he is 19 and naive.  Anyway, we are not really communicating, by his choice.  And the heart is broken.

How must Mary have felt that day when Christ left their little home, ready to begin his public ministry?  She knew all would be good, all would be well, all would be blessed.....and yet.  She was going to miss Him.  How could she not?

It's the age-old duality of parenting:  preparing them for independence and then weeping over them as they leave.  A mother's heart swells with pride, even if the heart is missing a piece or two.  Paul Simon is no prophet, but his words still give me comfort: 

No I would not give you false hope
On this strange and mournful day
But the mother and child reunion
Is only a motion away


  1. clearly you love your children very much, i can feel your longing, our children will always be those tiny babies we tenderly cared for when they were helpless and newborn, remember that a loved child always returns to their mother


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