What do you say to someone you haven’t seen in eight years? How do you explain all that has happened since he left? Or all that happened when he was younger? How do you communicate with children who speak Italian? What is there to say, after all these years?
Today is my younger son’s birthday. I sent him a birthday wish on Facebook. I think about him all the time, and even more so on his birthdays and holidays. It’s tough: we don’t communicate well. Not just Matthew and me, but all of us in our family. Most of us don’t like to talk on the phone, don’t write letters, don’t Skype, and then regret that we don’t do it.
Sending him a package costs nearly fifty dollars. A phone call isn’t much cheaper, either. Ah, excuses, right? Yes. And more. I am not sure I could talk to him on the phone without crying. I know I would not be able to explain my tears to him, either.
I feel as if part of me is gone, broken, or lost. I feel the need to reconnect with my son but I cannot do it by myself. I have tried sending an email to all three of my kids, hoping it would spark an interest in communicating with each other. We could just “reply all” and share our day-to-day life with each other. Didn’t happen…
I tell myself that, even though I don’t hear from Matt, he does love me and miss me, too. I tell myself that it is just the Great Communication Barrier that keeps us from getting in touch with each other. I tell myself that it is my duty, as a parent, to keep the lines of communication open with my kids. And I tell myself that I’m not doing a very good job.
Why? I don’t really know. Maybe it is just easier to miss him desperately than to tell him and make him feel bad. I know he’s busy, I know his life is full with family, work, and whatever else he chooses to do with his time.
And I tell myself that we are going to sit down and have a chat about it. Soon. I will tell him how much I love him and miss him and that I wish I could find a way to keep in touch with him. I will tell him stories about when he was growing up and how he delighted us with his wit and wisdom.
And I will apologize for hurting his feelings when he was 7. He rode his bicycle all the way out to his grandparent’s house (8 miles away) because I said something that hurt him and he wanted Grandma to comfort him. I will ask him to forgive me for being unkind because I didn’t really mean to be…
I will hug him and spend some quality time with him.
He’s coming home to visit June 18th……