Sometimes I am really just sort of overwhelmed by cravings, you know? Maybe I have woken up at 3:15AM (again) and I just really, really want a mouthful of calamata olives. Yum. It doesn’t make much sense, but it’s a craving. I. Must. Have. It.
Or its a cold, wet, icy January evening, and my feet are cold and achy. I find myself truly craving the feeling of hot white sand on a beautiful ocean beach. It’s more than a passing wish; it’s a desire that reaches deep into my chest, and grabs my beating heart in both hands, squeezing it and twisting it until the pain of the yearning makes that heart almost, but not quite, come to a quivering stop.
A craving. So powerful that even the thought of denying it is only a whispery echo of what I know will happen. Must. Have. My. Wish.
Last week I took my class up into the mountains for three days of camping adventures. Fun, learning, cold air, mind-numbingly-repetitive songs. And, for me: wicked intense cravings.
The next paragraph that I type will no doubt make some of you hesitate. You may ask yourselves if now is the time to call the police and have this pervert arrested. You may cover your eyes and shriek in horror.
Sorry bout that.
You see, spending three days in the wild with 75 fifth graders has filled me with an intense craving.
Those kids were sort of homesick at night: I craved the opportunity to comfort my children once again! I so miss the memory of knowing that they were scared to sleep anywhere that was more than a minute away from….well…….me! I have never felt so needed……
And my fifth graders all felt a little pang when they were faced with the meals at the camp. If I only had a dollar for every time one of them said something along the lines of “My Mom makes my oatmeal like this…..” I really crave the chance to make that special little bowl of something filled with protein and comfort and motherly love for one of my very own little chicks!
And then there were my twins. I have two boys in my class who are almost the spitting images of my two boys at the same age. The green eyes, the buzz cuts, the mischievous grins. Every time I look at them, my heart gives a little lurch, and I wish for a time machine with every molecule of my being.
I want to hold my boys one more time.
I want to hug them, and press my cheek to the tops of their warm heads. I want them to be here, in my house, at my table, eating my food and clamoring for my attention.
I crave them.
I crave my Mommy days.
Tonight my middle child came home for dinner. The truth is, when I came back from my trip to the woods, I sent him more than one message of longing and angst. He’s a good boy, and he recognized my yearning. He came by tonight with his guitar, his mandolin and his best friend. We had a nice couple of hours together, where the boys shared music and stories, and I got to touch and hold my child.
But the whole time that they were here, talking politics and singing and making dinner together, in my sad and lonely heart, I couldn’t stop craving the past.
Behind the mature voices and nearly formed bones of their handsome faces, I kept seeing the two little best friend boys who used to sit right here, looking to me for approval and love. I crave those happy voices echoing in these rooms. Inside of the young men who sat before me, I kept seeing the flickering shadows of the sweet little guys who I once loved so much. I crave those crooked, toothless grins.
I can’t help it. I crave the past, with a deep and burning desire that truly takes my breath.
Chips, and chocolate and the sweet, sweet kisses of little kids. I can’t resist those intense cravings.