… would you understand that it meant so much more?
You know, by now, that we live in the home where my husband grew up. He was 5 when our foundation was laid.
Just a couple of years later, a little boy and his sisters moved in a few doors down, and the rest, as they say, is history.
My husband, and his new friend Will did all the things boys do. They rode bikes, played football in the yard, watched Gilligan’s Island. They went to school together, had sleepovers, even some shared family vacations. They were there for each other through the perils of middle school, first dates and first cars.
When Eric and I began dating, we spent quite a few nights going out to hear Will’s band play downtown. There were lots of barbecues together with he and his girlfriend. He was there when we married. He was there too, with his band, when we threw a bash to ring in the new millennium.
(a shot from that night)
Then, when we were still spanking new parents (our boys were 2 and 1) Will moved to Hawaii, and we hadn’t been able to see him since.
He’s in town for a short time though, and spent a couple of days with us this weekend.
It must have been strange for him, I think, to sit at our table, in the same room where he had eaten hundreds of dinners, as a kid, and to watch my husband play papa… “eat your salad, James.”… “mind your manners, Luke”… “yes, Ryder, you can have more ketchup.”
How did it feel for him, to watch my boys run down to play with their friends, who now live in the house where he grew up?
There were so many things I wish I could have said, but just… well, do people ever say those things for real, I mean outside of the movies?
Things like, “tell me what you’ve seen in all the years since I last saw you. Tell me, do you watch the sun rise over the ocean? Do you hear it still, from this far away?” or “It’s still us, underneath this mama and daddy veneer. Eric is still the kid you grew up with and I am still that broody, poetry-loving girl that you took to see the Black Crowes. Only now, we think about other things too, like the sugar content of breakfast cereal and how to pay for college. It’s still us. Is it still you?”
I didn’t know how to say that we missed you, brother, so I made pie, and bread. For you, I made overtures into vegetarian dinners. I hope you understood that it was the only way I knew how to say that I was glad to see you again, that it made me happy to watch you build Legos and play the piano and do magic tricks for my band of men, that you are a part of the fabric of their childhoods now too.
I hope that you find what you are looking for. I hope that you get lost in music, find someone to share lazy Sunday mornings with, and that when you are walking the beach, you think of us, eating what is now officially known as “Will’s Peanut Butter Pie” in the kitchen, with little men dancing to “World Music Night” on the radio.
I hope you know that we’re glad the world has you in it. I hope it won’t be so long before we see you again, friend.