For the better part of Saturday, I was at the funeral of a colleague’s mother in St. Catharine’s (two hours driving each way after picking up friends for carpool). I have zero regrets about attending it. But we have been overscheduled lately, and I was conscious as I prepared to leave in the morning that I was making yet another explanation to Sam about why I wasn’t going to be home for the day.
“I’m going to go help a friend who is feeling sad,” I said.
“Oh.” He seemed to understand this, and didn’t fuss about my upcoming absence. When I was trying to get out the door though, he kept talking despite my efforts to end our conversation, leading me to close the door while he was mid-sentence. I waved at him through the window and could still see his mouth moving. I was late and worried that he would delay me if further I didn’t just leave, but it still felt very rude. I hope I won’t do that again.
When I saw my family again, over 9 hours later, Ben and I set straight to hustling the kids into the car to get to my mother’s place for an overnight (with babysitting – thank you, thank you). Amidst the bundling of winter jackets into car seats, snippets of practicalities Ben and I were trying to exchange, and fingers numb from the cold, I became aware that Sam was calling out to me over and over again from inside the car.
I swung the car door open and said, irritably, “What is it Sam?”
He leaned forward as far as the straps on the car seat would allow. “Is your friend feeling better?”
It took a moment to register; it slowed me down. The cloud overhead misted away. “Yes, Sam. She is feeling better. Thank you, for asking.” I smiled. He smiled back, then settled back into his seat.
There it was. A window to what’s there, and a hint of what’s to come. We have so much to look forward to.