Barely keeping my eyes open, I’m juggling between the sofa and my laptop right now. I’m trying to stay awake long enough to be fully present when our eldest son bounds through the door.
It’s 2:00 am and he’s road tripping home for fall break, dropping riders off along their nine hour route. It’s been over two months since we brought him as a sophomore transfer to college in PA and hugged good-bye. We haven’t seen him since.
That first week there were a few calls. At first, I kept waiting for his specific question, a reason to his reaching out, but eventually, after the calls continued, it hit me.
He just wants to hear our voice.
This godly young man, flouring with his academics and pointing his life’s rudder due north, just needs a piece of home.
We talked on the phone for nearly an hour last week, and at the end of the call, a vulnerability that’s rarely present in our “almost twenty year old, first born, confident in who he is kind of guy”, broke through,
“Mom, I don’t know. I was super cocky about this whole transition thing. I really didn’t think I’d have a difficult adjustment. I never thought I’d struggle with home sickness at all, but it’s been a challenging semester. I just want you to know, I can’t wait to get home. It’s just going to fill my soul and I’m so excited to get back on the Homestead.”
And there it was. Summed up in a few short sentences, a gift that every parent desires.
Our son just wants to come home!
(Doesn’t every welcome home greeting deserve fresh cookies and a note from their 14 year old sister?)
During their teen years, my husband and I pray fervently that if our child is going to make poor choices, those mistakes are made while still under our roof. I want them to wrestle with their faith and make it their own. I want them to ask the hard questions while they have our ear, while we can point them toward truth and in the midst of their doubt, always assure them that while we may not agree with their choices, we will always love unconditionally, no matter what.
So now I’m heading back to the couch.
I’ll snooze and wait, although this time, it’s not because he’s breaking curfew. This time, I’m not on the couch checking my phone every few seconds waiting for an answer with a tummy in knots over possible poor choices. This time I won’t be confronted at 2:00 am with a 16 year old demanding,
“Stop waiting up for me. You care too much. None of my other parents’ friends care like you. Just lighten up. I can’t wait to be on my own!”
I remember that moment. I looked him in the eyes, with tears on my face and mustered, “When I get before the throne of heaven and if the worst thing I have done is care too much about you, I’ll welcome the Lord’s response. You are the Lord’s Child and the enemy has no place in this home.”
No, this time, during these wee hours, I will snooze peacefully in eager anticipation of greeting and hugging and loving our son who just wants to come home!