Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Hawaiian Symbols Carved in Love

My 13-year-old went to 'shadow' his first high school today. Boy, it seems like yesterday that Kyle was applying to high school. Now I am so much the wiser. I know how fast the next years will fly by. Next year, Kyle will be a senior and Will will be a freshman. It is hard to believe.

Sweet Tom, took Will to his tour and sat through the high school presentations. I did it four years ago, when Kyle was looking at private high schools. This time it was Tom's turn. They both came home delighted. Will loves high school and I could see that he can't wait for the challenges ahead of him.

Tom, on the other hand, delighted by Will's enthusiasm, had a little spring in his step. He came home with lunch for everyone and unbuttoned the two top buttons of his starchy white shirt and twirled the old necklace he has worn for the last twelve years.

On an old piece of waxed cotton string, hangs an old Hawaiian Petrography. The symbol on the old piece of rock represents family. Tom bought this souvenir on his fortieth birthday when we all went to Hawaii to celebrate. Kyle was four-years-old and Will was one. Tom has not taken off this necklace for the last twelve years. Yesterday, he took this old relic to the bead store in Mill Valley and bought a new string for it.

It means something to Tom. Even though he always teases me with his famous, "18 they are out the door," routine, I wonder how he really feels about the kids growing up.

Part of me knows that because he is much less selfish than I am, he will be happy for our kids when they leave home. College, for Tom represented some of the very best years of his life. He wants his kids to have the same experience.

Will that be enough for him to fill the void when they are gone? Will he just be content in knowing his kids are happy?

I know the answer to this. It is simple and beautiful and makes me feel like the luckiest woman alive. I will be enough for him.

The thought brings tears to my eyes. As he twirls his symbol of family dangling from his neck, I know he will miss the kids more than he will ever tell me or them, but he will take me by the hand and show me how to enjoy our life together, just the two of us, once again.

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