There is something about Friday night that makes me just a little bit mournful. I remember so well the years when Friday night meant a Disney movie and some pizza. I remember leaving work, loaded down with reports and test scores to fill the weekend. I remember throwing everything into the backseat, and heading out for the long ride home.
As I left school behind, and got closer to my town and my house and my children, I would begin to relax, begin to let the pressure fade, begin to think about what I wanted to ask and tell my children. I remember the long ride over the highway, the quiet ride through the small town streets. I remember letting go of the week before and letting myself embrace the days ahead.
I remember movies on the living room rug, dinner on the coffee table, pillows arranged around the table. I remember take out Chinese, homemade pasta, delivery pizza.
I remember all five of us, linked by love and laughs and a movie screen, lying on the “pull out bed” in the living room. I remember us waiting all week to talk about the actors in a TV series, afraid that we would give something up by discussing the mystery too soon.
As I come home now, in the dawn of my “empty nesting” life, I realize that along with my memories of events gone by, I carry a memory of reconnection, of getting to know you again, of sharing a meal and a plan and love story.
As I come home now, on cold and rainy Friday nights, I remember how lovely it was to have my children at home when I pulled into the driveway. As I come home now, I remember how sad it is to come home to a house that hasn’t seen children for more years than I want to even consider.