My daughter is aglow. We are on a FaceTime call but I can see the happiness radiating from her face. Her daughter, who started college this year, came home for a day. They took a drive into the country, went on a short hike, stopped to book shop, had lunch out. They talked about everything and nothing. No pressure, no agenda. Just a stolen day together.
How I remember--and still feel--the joy of spending a day or even a few hours alone with a grown child. Usually, when I see my grown children they come encumbered. In their young adult years, it was with friends or by papers to write or places to go. As the years flew by there were spouses and children. To have a grown child to myself for a few hours is a treasure that's hard to describe: A special warmth, a comfort, a feeling that all's right with the world--or will be. It's not a mom thing. Their dad guards his moments alone with his children as well.
To hear my daughter last night--and a few weeks ago my son--bask in the glow of spending time with a child who no longer lives under their roof is to relive those companionable and spontaneous moments. The cycle of life is repetitious and reassuring. With so much in the world collapsing around us--our weather cycles, public discourse, ability to compromise--this is one small thing to feel good about: Our grown children will treasure these moments with their children as much as we did and still do with them.
photo: Maia Lemov