On the eve of Yom Kippur, at the Kol Nidre service, the rabbi’s sermon was about “forever letters.” Letters between lovers. Letters to friends. Letters left for children. Letters written — by one’s own hand and in one’s own voice — sharing feelings and thoughts, with hope that the message will endure. His words made me think about this blog.
I’ve been writing almost every week for just about seven years. Some days, I have a hot topic about which I feel the need to rant. Some weeks, I want to share a laugh or poignant moment. Occasionally, I have nothing to say. (Shocking, huh?!) Some months, I feel it’s time to stop writing altogether as I become overwhelmed with a “who cares what I have to say anyway” kind of attitude.
Then, every once-in-a-while, I learn that a particular post of mine touched or helped someone in a profound way. With this knowledge comes a deep sense of personal satisfaction. And so I keep at it.
In the category of a “forever letter,” I hope tonight’s post becomes one of those.
I am writing from a diner in Portland, Maine as I await my son’s arrival from Chicago. A few months ago, he suggested we have a mother-son-weekend…just him and me…alone for a weekend in a place we’ve never been together.
At first, I admit I was alarmed. He’s been married for four years, is almost thirty years old, and will become a father in a few months…so…Why does he want to be alone with me? Why would he suggest this? Did something bad happen? Is he — God forbid! — sick? Did I do something wrong?
My husband immediately scolded me…“Trust me, he wouldn’t take a day off work and meet you out of town for a weekend to give you bad news. Why must you jump to negative conclusions?”
“Because I’m a Jewish mother!!!” I whimpered. “I worry.”
And there it was. Something terribly wrong in the programming of my DNA….So much for my confident, self-aware self!
When my daughter was in college, she sometimes needed a mother-daughter weekend when school and friends got to be too much. So, I’d hop on a plane — no questions asked. We’d hang out in a hotel room for two days, watch chick-flicks, order room service or venture out. Either way, she wanted time alone with me and I obliged. And, in the years since, we’ve managed other getaways.
But my son never asked. I guess I just assumed that, once he had a serious girlfriend, time alone with me was unnecessary. I now feel terrible that I never even thought to suggest it.
And yet, here I am. Never say never!!! My son and I will spend the weekend hiking, going on a lobster boat, eating foods we love, taking in the sights, and enjoying each other’s company. I am beyond delighted to have this opportunity.
More importantly, I cannot begin to express how appreciative I am — to my husband and daughter-by-marriage — for being supportive of this weekend away. They — and my son — are partners in making a memory that will last the rest of my lifetime.
To my firstborn…my one and only son…thank you, thank you, thank you for suggesting this. I truly love you and hope I’ll get to do this with you and your son too.