HOME ALONE!

August 25, 2013 at 12:40 am Leave a comment

    HOME ALONE!  When you read these two words side by side, many images are conjured up in your head: Like an 8-year-old boy who is accidentally left behind by his family while they fly to France for Christmas. As if that’s not enough of a harrowing experience, he must also single-handedly defend his home against burglars. While Macaulay Culkin, Joe Pesci, and Daniel Stern bring this 1990 comedy onto a life-size screen, it reminds families to never take each other for granted and to always conduct an accurate headcount when loading the van to the airport.

But it’s no laughing matter when you’re the one left HOME ALONE by your kids and your husband.  While some might consider that cause for celebration, even grounds for down right kicking up your heels partying, I found that it only made my brown eyes “blue.” What’s even worse is that my family left me home alone on purpose, not as an oversight. Let me explain.

After spending an amazingly phenomenal, week-long reunion with our three grown children, The five of us were wrapped in a blanket of love, embraced in laugh-until-our-sides-hurt hilarity, soothed in warmth, inspired by high levels of energy interrupted by periodic couch hogging, lazy movie-fests and living room camp-outs. To quote my children they would say “mom you sound like an after school special. Just get to the point!” In other words, we had an absolute blast hanging out together.

We spent the weekend in Orlando and the day at Sea World. We rode rides with a list of warnings that were longer than the ride itself. Rides that tell you to leave backpacks, sunglasses, hats, cell phones and sandals behind but forget to warn you that your stomach will be left behind at the first drop. We flipped over the jaw-dropping whale show, discovered that sea lions don’t roar and froze like popsicles while visiting 250 penguins, all dressed up in their tuxedos! Did you know that penguins are social birds? Many species feed, swim and nest in groups. During the breeding season, some species form large groups, or “rookeries” that include thousands of penguins. Each penguin has a distinct call, allowing individuals to find their mate and their chicks even in large groups. Not much different from my special flock.

Being together like five kids ~ free to roam, free from responsibility and free from time restraints, was absolutely magical. We went where the breeze took us and were shooting the breeze. We put away our cell phones (except for photo shots.) We went without wearing watches, losing complete track of the time. We ran ourselves ragged with happiness and delight. We ordered take-out. We feel asleep with smiles on our faces and dishes in the sink. We slept late and lived spontaneously. We stretched out our time together like a rubber band threatening to break.

Then it happened… We headed back home, leaving our oldest son to return to his career and life in Orlando. The next day our daughter and my husband drove to Maryland where our daughter attends college. Later that evening I dropped our middle son off at the airport so he could fly back to San Francisco where he now works and lives. As I hugged and kissed each of our children, I tried holding back my sadness for as long as I could. It’s funny how emotions live in your heart but can be temporarily stored in the back of your throat and in little pockets behind  your eyes. It’s no wonder it burns when trapped inside. No one knows me better than my family. I can’t fool them with the “strong act.” And why should I?   As I entered into my driveway, and opened my front door, so too did the flood gates open wide. I came home to an empty house where I was HOME ALONE. I didn’t scream like Macaulay Culkin. But I did cry like a baby.

I’m a mother who thrives when her children are all together! That’s what makes a house a home. So when they are not here I feel a sense of Home A-loneliness. That’s when I turn to my computer keyboard for comfort. Writing becomes my catharsis. So does laughing hysterically at the tons of pictures on my phone and the unedited video’s that my kids filmed without me knowing. Talking daily, reminiscing about our vacation, and planning the next one, all help to  distract me temporarily from the lack of chaos.  Even playing my favorite tunes drowns out the ensuing silence.  Soon my hubby will be back and we can miss the kids together. Maybe I should focus on getting the house ready for our next reunion in six weeks when we will all be home together to celebrate my niece’s wedding!  And then there are those glorious holidays!

In my heart of hearts I am so happy for our children’s happiness. I am proud of the courage they possess that allows each of them to venture out and follow their hearts. And much like the penguin family, no matter how far we may roam, each of us has a distinctive call that always brings us HOME to one another.

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"It is better to improve than it is to prove"
- Jayne Bonilla

Since the road to success is always under construction, this blog is intended to serve as a visceral compass empowering readers/writers to find their own direction along the way.

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