Day 276

Today marks 276 days since my oldest son left home.
Left this country.

That’s roughly 39 weeks.

We just had an hour long conversation about his life over there, our life over here, and sunflower seeds.

I am so full of joy and happiness!

We talked, I mean, really talked.  It has been a very long time since we connected this way.  Many of our phone calls/emails are business in nature, or they are short due to the time difference and activities there or here.  Sometimes the connection is just plain terrible, and it’s frustrating to try and decipher the broken speech.  But today, we connected, and it was almost like sitting on the couch together exchanging the normal comings and goings of our lives.  YAY!

He wasn’t even aware of the gift he was handing to me through his stories of travels and people met.

First of all, he was telling me of his plans to “clean his house”.  Clean!  He has friends coming      over tomorrow, and wants his place to be clean and tidy for his guests.

          All those years of chores, and teaching him how to straighten things, dust, vacuum…..

Second, he told me of his excitement over receiving American sunflower seeds in the last package I sent his way.

          All those years of Little League Baseball and packs of David’s Sunflower Seeds…
          All those years of fussing about the spent sunflower seed shells I would find in the washing
machine and dryer…

Third,  he told me of meeting a business man who, upon learning he was American, asked if he liked sauces and subsequently loaded him down with sweet chili sauce, teriyaki sauce, etc.

          All those years of getting extra packets of Polynesian and honey mustard at Chic-Fila…
          Covering his french fries with mustard…
His love for Italian Dressing on just about everything else… 

And fourth, he shared his plan to get a Cherry Tree to nurture and plant before he comes home.  He told me of the fresh herbs he finds there growing naturally, “just like the ones that grow outside our front door back home, ma!”  He shared how beautiful the countryside is where he was driving last week, and how it reminded him of the United States, of Tennessee.

          All those years of teaching him about growing herbs, flowers, and vegetables…
          All those years of mowing the grass and climbing trees…
          All those years of enjoying the outdoors together…

Today, he gave me the best gift of all.  He showed me that the things impressed upon him years ago, part of our everyday for so many years, are surfacing in his new life a world away, and reminding him “home” is a part of who he is, no matter where he is.  I think that’s a big fear that parents have when the children “leave the nest”, that the kids will somehow forget all the little things along the way.  I’ve always tried to make the normal, everyday things special within our family, in hopes that one day, my sons will look back with appreciation and find comfort in these same things.  Little did I know how much comfort I would receive upon seeing these things resurface in their own lives.  Pure. Joy.

Yep.  Big, big smiles on this 276th day.

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