I'm missing my "big kids". That would be my 26 and 27 year olds. My "little girls" are with me. Little as in 23 and 24 years. But thats what we used to called them. The big kids and the little girls. Older of course is a relative term when a mere four and a half years seperates the first and last born.
We just had our first, very own, family reunion. Not a big crew mind you, just our little crew of the four core, two sons in law, and us old-ish folks. Nor was this a typical head back to the hometown or family farm type or assembly over the holiday table sort of thing. None of the typical gathering reasons or places. This was Dallas. In July. And our reason was love.
Kate first floated the idea a few months back. Where and when evolved around the usual things like schedules and committments of all sorts. "Reply All" emails revealed one weekend this summer that would work. And we would meet in Dallas where the fewest airline tickets were need and we had willing hosts ( who just moved into a two bedroom home...can you say guest room?). What Kate kicked off, Anna and JohnMarshall ( the hospitable hosts) ran with. We booked our nearby hotel with a great swimming pool ( remember Dallas in July ).
And we gathered. Kate arrived first from Memphis, we Lincoln four arrived next, and by evenings end Christians flight made it in and we were together.
Someone who loves words like I do recently said that their ought to be a unique word in the english language to describe what a mother feels when her children are all gathered together. That that experience is like no other I can attest to.
What we did (eat, talk, lay by the pool, eat, talk, decide where to eat, talk, play charades, talk) was not what I will remember. ( Well maybe charades). It was the being. Being comfortable flopped together on the giant bed/chairs by the pool, being in the room next to my sleeping daughter, being in Anna and John Marshalls house and having their presence seep in, being together as twos, and fives, and three as we went to starbucks, or back to the room, or to Mass. It was simple presence, the being, whether just sharing space or snuggling, or overhearing giggling or discussions about jobs ( especially those lawyer kids billing 200 hours a month), future plans and dreams.
And now I'm lonesome for all that.
Departure day as we waited for our rides Kate landed briefly on my lap ( with a little encouragment from me). It was such a lovely and rare thing, an adult child on my lap. Although she doesn't weigh much, she was heavy! But the weight of love is willingly born.
My mind is still stewing on that stil un-named word but my heart knows it well. And part of that mother love is the price of love. And the price of love is the weight of love on our hearts. Or our laps. I'm game for it all.