I chopped cabbage yesterday while Reagan chopped lettuce. I ate the fruits of our labor for lunch at 3:15 today. And I'll have more tomorrow.
They don't talk on the phone like we did to socialize, so I asked. "Have you been talking with your friends this summer?"
"What friends, Mom?"
"You know! Grace. Maddie. Bailey. Cloe. Your friends!"
While we press garlic, pinch sugar, and measure balsamic vinegar, the rest of the conversation dawns on me that every one of our daughter's close friends no longer enjoys an intact family unit.
"Do you know what it is you have, Ru?" My knife had fallen silent.
She says she knows, but she takes it for granted. I do, too. How can we not, when we take the fruit of our labors for lunch break on a Monday?
I crunch salad, and I read Reagan's text: Can we do something tonight? I am beyond bored. We didn't go to the pool. We've been every day for two weeks.
The pool. You had invited me in just yesterday. When I climbed into your floating lap, you asked when I last shaved. I laughed. "It's goose bumps, not stubble." You twirled us slowly in the water.
I take another bite of my salad and wonder how far into the Guatemalan mountains you are right now. You've traveled less than 12 hours. More than a week still before you return.
We are no longer the norm. We swirl in the water. We chop salad with our kids. We eat the fruit of our life mid-afternoon and look forward to having more tomorrow.
Even after 25 years, we look forward to more tomorrow.
You've traveled far today, Mike. I have too. You toward those who hunger, me toward recognizing satisfied. Perhaps we shall both sleep well in our respective places.
Photo Credits: Adrian