Monday, September 3, 2012

Phone Home

When I was younger and I went on a trip my mother always insisted that the first thing I do on arrival was call to let her know I was there safe and sound.

As a very young child, I didn't think anything of it and happily checked in on arrival, and sometimes once or twice while I was away depending on the length of the trip.  I even have a picture of me, freshly showered and in my nightgown in the Polynesian Hotel, phone to ear and my suntanned face glowing as I fill mom in on all the fun.

As I got older, it got a little more trying a promise to keep.  How embarrassing to be on a choir trip and have to walk in the hotel and pick up the phone.  Irksome and I felt unnecessary, after all I was FINE. Of course, I called anyway, I didn't dare not to.  Mom insisted and if I wanted to make any more trips, I'd better make that call.

Well, as time went by the habit became ingrained. I keenly felt the need to check in with someone on arrival at a vacation destination.  I would walk in to an number of hotel rooms, and walk to the phone to make my check in.  I shudder to admit it, but I did it on my honeymoon too.  It meant the world to my mother, just to hear that we arrived and were happy and safe.

Of course, now my mother has been gone for nearly 20 years.  Yet, the habit remains.  I walk in to a hotel room and I itch to pick up the phone and tell her we are fine.  Honestly, to tell someone we have arrived and are fine.  I have bewildered many a person with that call to say, "We're here!"

It happened yesterday as we walked in to our hotel room in Washington D.C.  I just wanted to touch base with home, to say we were here and all was well.  It still seemed crazy to not pick up the phone and dial my mother's number.  An empty feeling in my heart and my hand.

Maybe because with the passing of my mother some essential sense of home is lost forever.  My home, the place where they watched me grow up and made sure I was safe and sound (on occasion) is gone forever.  I have a wonderful and full home now, but it is different.

I can never arrive at a destination and phone home again.  Miss you mom.  By the way, we got here safe and sound, the hotel is lovely, and Connor is loving Washington D.C.