When Lamont and I were first married he would come home from work and just wrap me up in a big, tight hug that went on and on. He'd rest his chin on my head and just hold me like that, and finally let go with a smile and the most tender look. He told me those hugs were when he let go of all the things from the day that had pulled and tugged him in a hundred different directions, and just put himself back together. He still does it now and then, when life has been roaring past us so quickly that little pieces of ourselves break off and fly away in the power of it. He'll pull me into a hug and whisper that he needs to put himself back together...it makes me feel so precious.
This week Lamont and the girls went to the Oregon coast for four days to visit with his family, and because I had a commitment here that I couldn't escape, I stayed home alone. (Note: in blog posts shortly to follow we will address the positive and possibly hilarious aspects of my time alone, but for now we are going to wallow wholeheartedly in sentimentality. Embrace it.) I may or may not have cried for a minute when they drove away, and I felt a little empty the whole time they were gone. I talked to the girls a couple times each day, and couldn't wait for those phone calls! Pieces of me were missing, and I felt it more every evening when I went to bed alone, every morning when I slept late and woke up at the rather heathenish hours of 8 or 9, and every time I came home and opened the door to a house that was spotless -- but silent.
Last night my precious ones came home. I was so excited that I spent the last 5 minutes or so waiting outside for them, hopping back and forth from one foot to the other and trying my best to look calm and casual so my neighbors wouldn't laugh at me. Urgent and very mature need to...uh...experiment with the springiness of the lawn, don't you know! Moments after they pulled in, the doors were all flung open, and I had Bethany and Hannah in my arms squeezing me tightly around the neck, Ashley dancing and swinging around my legs and chattering a million miles an hour, and Lamont kissing me with a smile over all the little heads.
And I knew exactly what Lamont always meant with that special hug, because in that moment as my family piled out of the van to smother me with hugs and kisses, I was putting myself back together.