My son Anthony sent a text last week. “Leaving San Francisco now.” Their move to rural New York had been planned for many months, so that was no surprise.
I wanted to write back: “Watch out for snow in the mountains. Watch out for twisters in the plains. Don’t get too tired. Don’t speed. Don’t let the sun blind you while driving east in the morning. Eat your vegetables. Be safe. Be safe. Be safe.”
I restrained myself. This is my self-assigned job. Maternal self-restraint. Experience with my mother-in-law taught me to step lightly with the powerful women my sons love.
Instead I wrote, “Good. Be safe. Love you both.”
That afternoon, Anthony posted a photo of Jenna in the driver’s seat. In profile, she focused on the road, her hand relaxed on the wheel. A baseball cap shielded her eyes from the sun. Behind her left shoulder, out the driver’s side window, a sunny smear of moving desert gave a clue for where they were. Looked like Nevada to me.
“Making good time and feeling well so far. Xo,” Jenna wrote in an email the next morning. She also reported they’d slept well at a motel and that a hawk had swooped so close to the windshield she was afraid she would hit it. It swerved away in time.
“You’ll find lots to read about hawk spirit cards, hawk messages, hawk symbolism,” I wrote. I resisted a desire to do a google search myself and say more. Too much. Jenna can look if she wants.
My email ended with, “Where are you?”
“We’re halfway through Wyoming. Still making good time. In doing a little research, I think it was a falcon instead of a hawk. It was probably too small to be a hawk. I read that falcon means, ‘Opportunity is near, and I am prepared.'” She wrote a little more about falcon symbolism. The parts about manifesting intentions caught my interest.
I resisted telling her I hope their move here provides every opportunity for them—and also for me. They already know that. Or I could have told her about the Peregrine Falcons that live here…but she’ll find out soon enough. And soon enough I’ll learn how much is too much. Very soon.
“Be safe. Be safe. Be safe,” the mother in me thought but didn’t say.
“Fly free and be blessed,” the wise inner crone thought, offering her silent prayer.
By the time you read this, Jenna and Anthony will be at my house (and the post will have been pre-approved). Our tentative plan is to build another home on the family land, but we’re taking it one step at a time. They’ll rent a place nearby until we figure out the next move. What have you learned from experiments living near or with adult children or dealing with older parents as an adult? For a blog about an earlier visit from Jenna and Anthony, see Grieving for a Sacred Grove. For a piece about my relationship with my daughter-in-law Liz, see Sunshine on the Wedding: 2013.