I got a phone call Saturday afternoon from my son. "Mom, you have a grandson here who's wanting to talk to you. Do you have a minute?"
"Well, sure," said I.
And on the line comes Dylan. Crying. "Grandma, I'm really missing you!"
"Well, sweetheart, I'm really missing you, too. But you'll be coming over tomorrow afternoon for an hour or so."
"I know, Grandma, but I'm missing you right now!"
How quickly, as we grow older, we forget the urgency and the intensity of our childhood emotions. If I think back on the time when my mother had foot surgery and my two older brothers and I were sent off to stay with some very close out-of-town family friends for the week she was on crutches...I was 6 at the time...I still can feel the absolute misery and feelings of abandonment deep in my gut. I had never been away from home before that, and at the age of 6 that week felt like an eternity. I have never been so homesick in my life. Never again do I want to feel that abject sense of missing someone.
When my son dropped Dylan off yesterday afternoon he told me that Dylan had said to him after he got off the phone, "Daddy, I'm having a really bad day!" So as I took Dylan out for a walk I asked him, "Why were you having such a bad day, Dyl?" and he told me, "Because I was missing you so much."
I love the fact that he loves me. But I don't want that love to be a burden to him. And I'm sure as he grows older and the parameters of his life broaden out he'll depend on me less and less for security. Which is the way it should be. But right now I bask in the warmth of his love. And Coopy's, too. Cooper's is deep and intense as well, but he's of a more independent nature. His love is in the here and now. Dylan wears his heart on his sleeve. Their love is not a burden to me, that's for sure. It's a gift, and one I am thankful for and treasure every day. And I never ever want to do anything to jeopardize it, to take it for granted. Because they don't have to love me. They choose to love me. I can't make them love me. But I am grateful they do.