Sunday morning, the men in my family had—temporarily—flown the coop. For me, their same-day departures were
strangely unsettling, lots of commotion around packing for different cities, arranging
to be picked up two hours apart: one going to Kennedy, the other to Newark. I had already suffered through a double dose
of: “Have you seen my blue shirt?” (Henry)
“When is the cleaner delivering?”(Max)
“Can you fold my shirts and blazer?
I give bad fold.” (Henry). “I
can’t find my medication…” (Max).
Uncharacteristically, Max was the
early bird, somehow managing to depart at 6:45 AM to make a 9:00 AM flight for
Los Angeles. He has an exciting career
opportunity, and his potential boss required his presence before 1 PM Pacific
Time. Aside from Max’s worry about
whether his venture would succeed, he was leaving home with a bad cold and a
sprained ankle in a brace. Nevertheless,
a jump rope dangled from the handle of his suitcase as he dragged it out of our
apartment and into the hallway.
“Don’t tell me you’re planning to jump rope in LA with your bad ankle?” I bit my lip to restrain myself from saying
anything further. Amazingly, Max had not
tripped over the jump rope or snagged it on the wheels of the suitcase.
worry about it, Mom.” He rolled his eyes and punched the elevator button a second
out and quickly stuffed the rope into a zippered compartment on the outside of
his suitcase. “Maybe you’ll forget about
it?” I asked, hopefully.
bed (wide awake), Henry and I tried to close our eyes and go back to
sleep. It was 7AM and Henry wasn’t being
picked up till 8:45 AM, plenty of time to slumber till the next alarm went off.
minutes later the phone rang. “What’s my flight number?” Max asked. He’d forgotten the folder with his boarding
pass and flight information which Henry had left on his bed. The driver needed this information in order
to drop off our son at the correct terminal.
on.” I dragged myself out of bed and sprinted
to Max’s bedroom to give him the information.
returned to bed, Henry was massaging his forehead. “What will he do about his
it out at the airport.” I shrugged and
pulled the covers up to my neck.
Henry and I burst into laughter. (We
could have cried just as easily). “Does
he know what city he’s going to? I hope
he gets on the right plane.” We
continued laughing. Sleep was out of the
us had been up since 5 AM. Henry was
worrying about whether he’d end up getting paid for his case in San
Francisco. He was also upset about leaving
on Sunday and giving up half of his weekend. The mediation wasn’t until Tuesday, but his
client had insisted he come early, afraid—understandably—that another snowstorm
might cause Monday flights to be cancelled,
after my husband left, the phone rang again.
It was Henry calling to say that Max had forgotten a piece of film
equipment in the car. (No, I’m not kidding).
Fortunately, Henry and Max used the same car service. In another stroke of good fortune our son’s
driver discovered the equipment in time to give it to Henry’s driver, who had just
dropped it off with our doorman. Would I
please try to remember to bring it upstairs?
later that morning, I dragged myself to the gym with my daughter, Sarah, who
left to meet a friend for lunch afterwards.
Sarah was very excited because this would be her first lunch after 8
months of drinking smoothies on her meal replacement diet.
my daughter left for lunch, I went home alone. Maybe too alone. I’m still trying to get used to not having
our dog, Sparky, sleeping in a patch of sunlight next to the dining room table
or sitting by the front door anxiously awaiting our family’s return. Sadly,
Sparky has left us forever. (See my 1/31 blog, “For Love of Sparky)."
returns on Wednesday (unless there’s another blizzard). And Max, well, that’s an open question. He may come home in a week or a month. Or perhaps he’ll move to Los Angeles and
spread his wings at last…. We’ll have to wait and see.
With no one at home, I decided to pass some time in cyberspace, like the
rest of the modern world. I was happy to
discover that one of my essays, “Dog Bite,” had been published (as promised) in
the March issue of Hobo Pancakes, an
online humor publication. (To read it,
just go to http://www.hobopancakes.com/2014/03/03/animalania-10/).
That essay had been written almost a
year ago and reminds me yet again that even when my son goes away—whether it’s
to college or on to the next chapter of his life—he remains extraordinarily
Labels: boarding pass, car services, career opportunities, dogs, essays, Hobo Pancakes, humor, jump ropes, Kennedy, Los Angeles, Newark, packing, San Francisco, sprained ankles