I’m still struggling with the anxiety related to selling my old house. Not going to lie. I woke up this morning to the numbness which parasitically inhabits my body the day after an exhaustingly bad day.
I tried to roll deeper under the blankets, go backwards into sleep and nothing dreams, but my body wasn’t having it. I was awake. Time to gird myself with coffee against whatever was going to erupt today.
I sat on my back deck, nursing a two-day old cup of microwaved coffee when I heard the first call. A muted high note from the juniper tree flanking my driveway. And then came the second note, almost an octave lower.
I waited and it came again.
A cuckoo bird.
In my family, my mother calls “cuckoo” to us. It’s her call-sign. Sure, in an airport it can be quite embarrassing to see this tiny, slender woman wearing my clothes from the mid-80’s vigorously waving her arm to grab my attention shouting “cuckoo!” But Mom’s “cuckoos” have literally guided me home.
So this morning while I was drinking coffee on the back deck and heard the cuckoo bird, I won’t say that I had this profound, spiritual, miracle moment and everything was suddenly right. I heard a cuckoo bird and drank my coffee and struggled to awaken.
But God certainly wasn’t done with me. These last two days, my son has been home with us recovering from wisdom teeth surgery and I have had the true joy and honor of Momming him. I love caring for my children and him moving out has felt like I was drawn blunt, rusty blades against my outstretched hands that were desperate to hold him once more. I know he needs to grow up. I accept that irreversible truth.
But that doesn’t mean I won’t feel this nauseating emptiness stemming from his absence.
This morning, my son and I chatted and then we talked and then we opened up to one another and I wept.
When I could finally find my solace and the tears ended, my son and I took our dog, Leia on a walk. We were only going to go through the downtown area, but at the edge of town we hooked a left and walked down a side street and through a little town park. As I guided my son through the town, I felt the return of my motherhood.
I felt myself return.
We called home to my daughter who eagerly agreed to join us on a jaunt to the local pie shop.
And so we walked back downtown, walked backwards by going forwards. I walked behind my children who automatically began playing. They are 18 and 15. My son is a college freshman. My daughter will be a sophomore in high school and will be starting a special early college academy this fall.
And yet they still play.
They swatted one another. Pushed each other into hedges or the road (thankfully not on-coming traffic). They did punch-buggy. They laughed.
The toxic helium balloons still hover over my house. I feel the anxiety monster creeping in my cellar or crawling through the vents.
But I am surrounded by my family. I have my support. I trust in God who sends me cuckoo birds and children who play.
He gives me a front porch where my daughter and I sat this afternoon and I wrote this blog and she chatted with her friends.
He gave me a home.