This is the view that my children will call home. I pray my children will ALWAYS want to come home.

If I had a dollar for every eighteen year old that says, “I can’t wait to move out and do whatever I want!” we could pay off the National Deficit. I probably said this, too, but the joke was on me as I lived at home in college. My first experience “away” from home was the day I got married when I was twenty-two. I’m serious. The poor husband had to listen to sobs of agony and defeat as I proclaimed my undying devotion to a house somewhere in Terry, Mississippi, for several months. Bless his heart. Since that time, my parents have lived in Fondren (a neighborhood of Jackson, MS) and now they live in Madison. After 23 years on the Mississippi Gulf Coast, I only get homesick when the moon is full on a Tuesday. Just kidding, but it does happen on occasion.

Our eldest child came home from college last night and arrived at one in the morning. Yes, I waited up for him. Just as I drive a typical mom tank, I also did the typical college child is home prepping. Homemade goodies. Check. Clean bathroom and sheets. Check. Porch light on… you get the picture. I would be fine with him coming home EVERY weekend, but he’d played baseball all day and the timing was concerning for me. “Please call me if you get sleepy.” I said. Why would he want to make an almost four hour drive this time of night? Something must be wrong.

All week I had beat myself up for not going several hours away to see his game. With two other children and a job, it just wasn’t possible. As teens sometimes do, he wouldn’t text me back after I would text him just to check on him, see if he needed anything, or say I was sorry that I can’t make all the games. Clark is a very thoughtful young man, but my emotions get the best of me, and I thought surely he didn’t need me anymore. Was he upset at me?

As he walked in the door, he put down his blue IKEA bag…. a sure sign of laundry. As I turned to walk inside the kitchen, he stopped me with a bear hug. “I’m so glad you’re home.” I said. “Are you okay?” “Yes, ma’am. I just needed to come home.” “Is something wrong, Clark?” “No. Just needed to come home. That’s all.” Home. Treats, clean sheets, and unconditional love…. not a grade on a paper or a statistic on the ballfield.

Welcome home, son.

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