Kids are Home Home Home

I was so happy to have the kids back yesterday. They returned around 3, then collapsed on the couch to watch the rest of The Little Mermaid movie they’d started the day before. Shaya had almost fallen asleep in the car, so when I lifted him up, he put his head on my shoulder and fell into a sweet slumber.

I sank into the couch between Asher and Eliana. In some way, I could touch each of my children – a hand on Eliana’s leg, another hand stroking Asher’s thick curls, Shaya’s tender heart beating against mine.

When Asher tumbled out of his father’s car yesterday, he was grumbly. “Nobody played with me at camp today!” he said as he burst into tears and collapsed against my shoulder. I held him to me, swirling my hands on his back and shushing in his ear.

Asher feels so deeply. He is a sensitive child, but a friendly one who, five minutes after we arrive at the park, will be paling around with kids he’s never seen before nor will ever see again. So it’s concerning to me that three days into art camp, he’s come home twice in tears.

Last night, I tucked each child into bed and lay next to them for a few minutes as their breathing fell into rhythmic waves. They slept soundly the whole night through, even during a ferocious crackling thunderstorm.

This morning, I’ll walk Asher into camp – the last day, I told him, if it’s no better – and see what all of this is about. Loneliness among people is the worst kind of rejection. And he’s only six.

It’s humid outside. The yard smells of damp. It’s as if its been beaten in the night and the grasses, trees, and flowers are surrendering to what is bigger, stronger than them.

In my oven, eggplant sizzled soft this morning already. I sauteed bright yellow summer squash with onion and tomato for a gratin, whipped flour, yeast, water, olive oil and salt in the Cuisinart for pizza dough. Tonight the kids, my grandmother and I are making pizzas from scratch. We’ll gather around the counter, each of us pounding a circle of dough flat, then decorating our pizzas with colorful, tasty toppings. A work of art. Filled with love.

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