A Year In Mill Valley

Rubber Band Around the Family

I picked Rachel and the boys up at SFO (San Francisco Airport) on Friday mid-afternoon, after they landed from London via Chicago.

Sebastian, as he is wont to do, fell asleep in the car, and we carefully carried him into his bedroom — he was out for the night. Nathaniel, amazingly enough, stayed up until 8pm, almost 24 hours after getting up at 4:30am in London to catch a cab to the airport.

The three of us had a quiet dinner that night, and we talked a lot about how hard it had been on all of us to be apart for so long. Both boys had missed Rosie (the dog), Geronimo (the cat), the house, their stuff, and their friends, but they missed me most of all. Sebastian is at an age where he’s closest to mummy (Rachel), but Nathaniel’s reached a point where he has separated a bit from Rachel, and is transferring a lot of his bonding/growing-up energy to me. We talked almost every day by cell phone, and found that calling before dinner time was easier than calling right before they went to bed (somehow it seemed sadder when I called just before bed time, so I got into a habit of talking with them right after I got up in the morning).

I asked Nathaniel whether he had found the flight to be very long. “No” he said, “and it seemed to get faster after Chicago.” “Really” I said, “I would have thought that would have been the hardest part.” “Oh no” he replied, “it seemed like there was a big rubber band around the plane that kept us moving faster and faster to home.” Tell me more I said. “Well, it seemed like the whole time we were in England there was this big rubber band around the family, and it was stretched really really far, all the way to here, and when we got on the airplane it felt like it was pulling us home, faster.”

What a nice thought. A big rubber band around the family, stretching, moving, protecting us, keeping us together no matter how far away we are.


2 Comments so far

  1. n. kateus February 6th, 2008 11:36 am

    This was such a touching post. I, too, had a dog named Rosie; she was a terror of a terrier who lived to catch rodents and to run fast as lightning. The only way I could keep her safe was to use a well-fitted collar and take her on leash, as she was not so well trained that she could deny her instinct to hunt whatever and whenever a scent wafted under her keen nose. The rubberband concept could only have formed in a child’s mind; their unique ability to express themselves without a need to conform to ‘expected’ or ‘traditional’ phrasology. n.kateus powerforpaws.com

  2. Grandma Noni February 6th, 2008 12:46 pm

    A delightful article and more so to me as I had a female terror of a terrier with the same name. Going anywhere with her was a ‘trip’ because she could never ignore her instinct to hunt–anything, anywhere. A well-fitted collar and strong leash were always a necessity. Your son’s description using a rubberband could only come from an uncluttered and innocent mind where expression isn’t fettered by the ‘usual’ statements.

Leave a reply

In an effort to control spam, please fill in the result of the equation below