|photo courtesy of Amy|
Tuesday morning Jenn and I went running with our neighbor, Karen. Mark would be leaving soon to fly to New Jersey for a business trip and would be home Friday evening. Amy's Jordan had been out of town the week before and had left again on Monday for another business trip. Last week was a rough one for Amy and this week would be her birthday. We had looked into airplane tickets to fly her and the kids out here but they were too expensive. Still... my heart ached at the thought of her being alone with two little ones on her birthday. There had to be something we could do. I began to assemble a package to send to her with some new fun things for Ruby to do and a little something for her too. As we were running I lamented to Karen about wanting to be with Amy, and Karen said, "Well, drive out there!". Duhhhh! why didn't I think of that! Jenn and I got back from our run around 7:45, talked to Mark as he was heading out the door and arranged to take the Mazda. We quickly packed, I taught Kindermusik from 10:00 to 10:45 and we were on the road by 11:15. We called Amy about two hours into our drive and told her to break out her air mattress. We were all very excited! We arrived that evening and got to see Ruby for a few minutes before Amy tucked her into bed. Two glorious days of giggling, chasing, baby kisses, imaginary play, coloring, snuggling and bliss. It seemed like more of a gift to me than to Amy in a lot of ways. It was really fun to make her some birthday cupcakes, get her some balloons, dinner and cool candles, as if she was 16 instead of 26. Jordan came home that night (Thursday - her birthday) and they went out and saw Harry Potter. Yesterday Jenn and I went running with Amy and the crew and then packed up again and headed home.
I know about cutting apron strings and the importance of allowing children to grow up and become independent. I know they need to be able to live their own lives and right now Sacramento is where Amy, Jordan and their family are supposed to be. But what about the heart strings. No one seems to talk much about those. The aching I feel when I leave that sweet family... being able to still feel the sweet little hugs and hear laughter in my head and know it will be a while before my cheek is able to rest on their silky hair again. What about that tugging on my heart when, like Ruby and Olivia, I too want to be able to go through the screen when we skype and be wrapped in their arms. Then there's the pull I feel that makes me so willing to spend two days driving to see them for two days. So totally worth it. In many ways this trip was empowering. It was easy to throw a few thing in my bag and just go. Aaron and Celisa better settle within a one day drive too, because even thought the apron strings have been cut, the heartstrings are still firmly attached.