Max has been back with us for 24 hours. It’s so new I’m still counting it in hours. He traveled from Sydney to Denver via San Francisco by himself and of course, by now, his 20-yr-old hubris and international sensibility means he feels completely comfortable making that trip. After all, he’s done it numerous times, coming through San Francisco or Los Angeles, he’s seen it all. He’s kinda weary of my worrying every time. But that doesn’t stop me.
And so I enabled the good old #mumtracker hashtag on Twitter, and traced both his flights. His first was cancelled, so his travel was delayed by 24 hours. I was worried he wouldn’t make his connection, but of course he did. He told me he would and I could almost see his eyes rolling at me in the Facebook message, as he said “chill brah” and not to worry. But that doesn’t stop me.
Forest and Charles were eager to pick him up at the airport, and we made sure we had at least 15 minutes up our sleeves so we could still park in the short term parking area, but without risking not being there if the plane actually arrived without too much delay. I had of course, made a sign, to demonstrate my lunacy at having Max come back to be a Buff at CU. Charles asked if I wanted people to think I was crazy. I think that question has been well and truly answered. Nothing to lose here.
Max certainly was not surprised to see me holding and waving the sign. And none of the boys were reluctant to have the picture taken. I guess they understand my lunacy (when lunacy equals love for my kids).
On the way home, Max mentioned all his ex-high school buddies were at a Magic the Gathering game in Boulder but he didn’t want to suggest going because it was his first evening here. He didn’t want to be a dick. But of course, he’s going to be here for a long, long time and I had no problem with kicking it off right away. I dropped Max and Forest off for the evening, came home and worked while they had fun. And then at 11.30pm I met them and their pals at Taco Bell and enjoyed our conversation for half an hour until it was time for the last drunk in the place to leave (not me, to be clear), and the workers were closing up.
And we came home. It was almost like he’d never left.
He and Forest have been playing video games together all afternoon and I decided it was more important than hounding about getting his room set up and forms filled out, and school supplies and All. The. Things. Instead I took off and did groceries (we ran out of milk last night for the first time in a year. Uh huh.), and did an errand or two. And then I cooked dinner (granny spaghetti) and wrote this.
Because it’s all about our family, not just about me. It’s about the relationship between the kids. It’s that I care most about. I want them to grow older and still be close – still want to be close – even when they are living anywhere in the world, and even if I’m gone. (I promise to stop italicising now.)
So all the work I’ve done to make this work is not the thing. The thing is the kids. It always was.
And I could leave this post here. But you know what? I just told Max about a new letterbox that’s nearby and he totally just said, “yeah, we’ll go letterboxing.” He knows it will just be him and me because the others can’t stand letterboxing. And that’s a little bit like the coolest thing.