Sunday, February 17, 2008

HH on Holiday

The apartment is remarkably quiet this morning.

Normally at about this time I’d be looking over my shoulder from my perch here in the kitchen, expecting HH to come padding down the hall with “baby” in tow, looking for Papa and a dry pair of pants. That’s our normal morning routine and even though I know he’s spending the weekend with his beloved Aunt Doris, I nevertheless find myself turning my head toward the door when I hear the floor creak or the baby next-door wail. His absence from the space fills it.

Late yesterday afternoon he called to check in with us, this is a rare thing for HH because he isn’t a phone guy – he normally refuses to speak to his relatives when they call or to anyone else for that matter, he’s just not into small talk. But yesterday he had a message to deliver that was important enough for him to ask his Aunt to place a call. I was taking a nap – something I would likely not have been able to do if he was in residence – and he left instructions that I was to call him back. When I got him on the phone he came right to the point. He reminded me that he had spent two nights with his relatives and that he would be coming home in the morning, then he said goodbye and handed the phone to his Aunt – that’s it – short and sweet. I asked Doris to put him back on the line pretending that I needed a little clarification; otherwise he would have refused to speak with me. This time he gave me a little more detail, not much more, but enough make two points unmistakably clear: It was his decision to take a weekend off from the folks but that he was ready to come home and wanted to be certain we were in agreement.

As much as HH enjoys his time away, he also wanted reassurance that this separation wasn’t an open-ended deal. He’s an independent four-year-old but he’s still just a little boy and in the words of the immortal Dorothy, “There’s no place like home.”