I had an impromptu lunch with my son last week.
He's all grown up, been married for almost two years, and sometimes I miss him so much my heart aches.
We attend the same church and he and his wife are as busy as Rob and I. Our paths cross, we hug, we share a bit of news, laugh and that keeps us just enough in touch that the ache is more like a longing.
We are so proud of our son. He is a kind man, a good husband, and he's following the path the Lord has set out for him.
But sometimes I miss him like crazy.
Hard to believe that just a decade ago, his sole delight was pushing my buttons. All of them -- in random and rapid succession. He'd laugh uproariously when I attempted to discipline.
Apparently, or so my children tell me, my humor blossoms when watered with the monsoon of extreme annoyance. My sarcasm ripens, my expressions delight them. Yes. I'm hysterically funny when I'm frustrated.
My son triggered a tiny but intense nervous breakdown once.
The location, the kitchen, where many of our encounters took place.
I believe he was juggling a plate. Well, not really juggling, more like tossing and putting intense spinerage on the stoneware. Of course it was one of the only unchipped pieces. This was his favorite pastime - after heckling me.
I can't remember the exact details of my breakdown. Maybe I was sweeping up glass bits from the juggling of the mug gone bad.
Maybe he was playing his "I don't understand" game.
This is my personal favorite. He'd develop a glassy-eyed stare and watch my mouth as I spoke. If I pinned him down, forced him to recount what I'd just tried to explain he'd restate it in jibberish or a foreign language, or out of context, or any other creative spin to mess up my words. The topics - far-ranging - could be life plans, serious spiritual concerns, instructions, chore lists. The topic just didn't matter.
Back to the mini-breakdown. I remember snapping at him for saying or doing something. I believe he laughed. I cried, and then I started laughing and couldn't stop. And the whole thing lasted less than a minute. Yep, the entire gamut of emotions -- anxiety, hopelessness, frustration, rage, hysteria, sadness and joy -- run through in seconds.
When and if he reads this his chest will probably swell with pride - or his eyes water from laughing.
But one day he'll have children of his own.