Do you remember waiting for your date to arrive back in high school?
How you paced, how you fretted, how you secretly feared?
Do you remember waiting for your child, your sixteen year old, fresh with driver’s license in wallet, gone from your protective veil, gone, gone, into the night, and how you waited? Do you remember the way your heart palpitated, the way you imagined your child–no, even all these years later you can’t say it. You can’t imagine it. You just waited on the edge of agony for your child to come home, to be safe in your cocoon again.
Do you remember waiting for test results? How you waited, bravely putting up a face of calm, bravely hoping for the best? Do you remember how you couldn’t bear to think of dire scenarios (yet you did, oh you did). Oh the waiting agony! Oh the way you thought you couldn’t bear another minute, another hour, yet you did. Oh, yes you did.
Do you remember waiting for your children to grow up? Yet you never wanted them to grow up. You paced between wanting them to be successful–no, simply happy–and stay in their high chairs. You sniffled between wanting them to graduate from high school and continue nursing at your overflowing breast. You always wanted them to fly like eagles. You never wanted them to leave you. You’re still waiting for everything to be 100% in their world, simply 100%, but you’ll settle for 60%, 40%, whatever they need, and pray fiercely until the cows come home, until light shines in their eyes, showing you that they’re OK, they’re truly OK.
I’m waiting now. In so many ways.
Yet, refusing to wait as well.
The dentist told me this afternoon: someday that tooth–the one you broke eating popcorn last Friday–will need a root canal.
I won’t count the days. I’ll love the way he patched the tooth back together this afternoon–oh how I love you, Dr. Summersett, for your gentle hands and easy laugh–I won’t wait until the tooth finally explodes in its final scream, oh no. I’ll simply know that someday it may happen. And maybe it won’t, who can truly tell?
I sit here waiting for a phone call, an expected phone call, a phone call from a loved one.
Will the phone call share good news? News where we smile, relax, say, oh good, phew, a respite, a shining star. Or will the phone call share bad news, news I don’t want to hear, news which will require adjustment, new viewpoints, easing into a new reality?
How do you wait? How do you wait, my friend?