Yeah. Not in that way.
Every home has its epicenter. In many homes, it’s the kitchen table. Homework gets done, meals are eaten, world politics are argued.
When we added on to our home, I wanted a kitchen large enough for a huge farmhouse table. Alas, that was not in the cards.
Not in the kitchen, of course.
As a divorced mother of two boys and one bossy rescue dog, I sometimes crave a few moments of peace and quiet. Used to be that I could get those in my bedroom, which I consider a peaceful sanctuary.
Except it’s not.
For some reason, all of my kiddos, including my furry one, are drawn to my bed like moths to a flame.
On a weekday evening, when all I want to do is take a bubble bath, read or write a few pages and go to bed, I generally find a varying cast of characters in my bed. My youngest son likes to lay in it while I read to him. When we’re done, I tuck him into his own bed, only to emerge from the bath 20 minutes later to find a small lump under my covers.
He is either asleep with the dog or reading by flashlight.
Other nights, after he is asleep in his own bed, I emerge to find my oldest sprawled, eyes glued to his phone. While his words say I love you/I hate you/I love you/I hate you, his penchant for being in my space and near me scream otherwise. He doesn’t necessarily want to talk, just to be in that peaceful space while I read nearby.
On a rare lazy Sunday morning (think blizzard), if I try to read The New York Times in bed, I usually have company within the hour. One carries a book, the other a screen, but they both camp out in my room. And the furry one just snores.
Bailey, our dog, is a permanent fixture. She likes to play queen of the castle when I’m not in the bed, fluffing the pillows with abandon and then plopping in the middle of them.
The other night, I just needed 10 minutes of silence. Of alone time. Of meditation and recharging. When all three of my nocturnal companions took up the entire bed, I had to bite my tongue not to allow my crankiness to spill over.
And then I stopped. For some unknown reason.
I thought about what an unspoken compliment it is that this household has a matriarch. A steady presence. One they want to be near. One that holds space for them in our busy lives. One they sometimes want to pour their hearts out to and other times they want to push away, but that grounds them.
I thought of watching them, at the altar on their wedding day or walking into their college dorm, and wishing the days of salty boy smells and giggles over tickled bare feet had not gone by so quickly.
These boys, and my furry girl, are my life’s blood. They came through me and are of me, as well as of the Divine.
The best thing about Grand Central Station?
“As a bullet seeks its target, shining rails in every part of our great country are aimed at Grand Central Station, heart of the nation’s greatest city,” stated a broadcast on NBC’s Radio Blue Network in 1937.
It’s a way for adventurers to get to the big, wide world. And it also awaits them, beckoning them home when they are world weary.
I think my young travelers are able to go out into the world each day a bit more bravely, knowing they have a big, fluffy, overcrowded bed to come home to. One that smells of their mother’s far too expensive perfume.
They’re likely to get a hug, wanted or not, when lounging. And maybe a big wet kiss from their furry friend.
And how can a memory like that be anything but beautiful?
I’ve decided I’m going to enjoy it while it’s made, rather than solely as a memory.
Not everyone gets an epicenter, after all.