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.
These most ordinary of moments are a blessing, a consecration of a home I’ve worked long and hard to make, scuffed walls and all.
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.
20 Comments Add yours
I loved this! We all pile into my mom’s bed and talk late at night. When I go home, we still do it. When I am in the city, she and my brothers are all sitting on the bed with me on speaker phone and my dog is around. Sweet memories. I loved hearing it from the bed owner’s perspective!
It’s the best, isn’t it? We may not always have time for a family dinner each night, but we usually can find time to crash in the same place:). I love that you still can share that with your family, even if only virtually.
Being part of a big Irish family this rings all too true. I hope to create a similar home for my little ones one day. When I went travelling in Europe a couple of years ago I was painfully homesick. My mother sent me a half used bottle of her perfume- there really is nothing more comforting than that!
What a wonderful idea! I’m sure that perfume brought you more comfort than anything else . . .
I can so relate to this as a divorced mom of 2 girls!
I now have a different view of my daughter wanting to sleep in my bed while the hubby is away. We need to stop and just enjoy the moments!! Thanks for the reminder!
Awesome title, awesome post!!!
This is just lovely and so well written. It reminded me of my cozy memories around my grandmother’s bed, too.
You have the best attitude about Bed Central, Kay. Besides, why do you think they call it a comforter? Exactly. Mom’s security blanket for all.
This is just beautiful! You’ve got the right idea….cherish these times!
My boys used to do this. They still do when they are both here. And of course my girl – she is allowed when there are bad storms. Otherwise she sleeps in her brothers’ bed – even when they are not here. The thing is, we wish for those moments of peace – they will come before you know it and then you will be wishing they were still around to hog the bed, hanging on you, interrupting your quiet time. I have that right now – the quiet time is deafening. xxx
Isn’t it wonderful to be so loved, even if they pretend otherwise? I love having my kids all around me on lazy days, but on the more hectic days, I really have to take a deep breath and remember how much I will miss this one day…sigh.
I love this post. As someone who commutes in and out of NYC through Grand Central, I loved that funny headline, too.
Bed is the safest and cosiest place in the world. It’s our one true refuge. I think it’s lovely that everyone wants to be with you there. Many kids try to avoid their family, or their home, at all costs.
What a great way to look at it. I wonder if world peace could be brokered after a few rainy days in bed for our leaders. With a stack of good books and a cup of tea.
Sigh…such a wonderful compliment. Beautiful post.
I love this, Kay.
I remember thinking my parents’ bed was the safest, most comfortable place in the whole world.
I love that it seems my kids feel the same way . . .
I read this while locked away for a few moments in the bathroom, the place that is our Grand Central Station. Right in the middle of reading, my son knocked at the door looking for something (and probably me). Your post helped me smile a bit more welcomingly and see the interruption as an opportunity.
It’s not easy being an epicenter, is it? But it sure can be fun:).
I absolutely love this post. You made me remember as a kid the hours spent as a family in the hub of our home.
It is so great that you are able to appreciate the time your kids choose to spend with you while it is actually happening, rather then just as a memory as you said.