I awake around 5 a.m. in air just a degree or two cooler than yesterday. Last night I fell asleep to texts from my son, away at college and in the first shock of dorm life. “I vastly underestimated my lack of privacy,” he wrote.
I want him to be comfortable, to adapt, to make friends, but I inwardly rejoice at his predilection for solitude.
After a summer of arguing about Black Lives Matter, the universe smugly played its hand giving him an African American roommate. The last text of the night pinged, “A group of black students just told me I look rich.” Does he? Is this because I force fed polo shirts into his suitcase?
After two weeks away, a trip to visit a sick parent, my husband is again beside me, an elderly Jack Russell between us, the dog’s breathing a gentle, percussive death rattle like dinner jazz.
I chafe at this change, at my son’s empty room, while I text him, “You’ve got this. It’s going to work out,” believing it will work out.
My husband’s return reminds me our daughter will also leave soon, and this, two no-longer-young bodies in bed, this life we must figure out, how to face mornings without little feet thudding on stairs, endless questions, the prickly affection of constant interruption, the heartswell of seeing our children’s faces.
And then I am reminded of the purpose of his trip, and that “just the two of us” is also temporary. Life continually sloughs off whatever good we take for granted.
“At five I wake, the air
mournful in its quiet.”
– Albert Garcia.
You can read the rest Albert Garcia’s poem, “August Morning” here.
How do I start this day?