Tuesday, January 20, 2015


The call comes in as I am finishing my school day. Son #1.

I think he is probably calling to remind me to deposit his grocery money, like he does pretty much every Thursday.

"Hey buddy. What's going on?"

"I want to come home."

I think he is ready to take advantage of my offer to fly him home for the long weekend, so that he can spend his 21st birthday with his brother and I. I wonder if I can still get a plane ticket this close to the weekend.

"OK, sweetie. Let me see what I can do. You would have to go back Monday morning, right?"

"That's not what I mean," he says, this time with a little more urgency. "I want to come home."

"You want to come home?" I repeat, a little confused.

"I want to come home. For good. I'm done. I hate it here. Football isn't working out. I just want to come home."

I am stunned. "Are you sure?"

"Yes. I just want to come home. I'm done."

"Have you talked to the coaches?

"I just want to come home."

We talk for a few more minutes. I try to figure out whether his grades were bad and he was kicked out of school. Whether something happened with the football coaches. Or at the apartment building.

He will tell me nothing, but he is adamant. He wants to come home. And not just for the weekend. Not just to to talk and try to sort out what is going on. He wants to come home for good.

I buy a one way ticket and pick him up on Saturday afternoon with three suitcases. Sometime, in the next few weeks, maybe as soon as this weekend, we will go back and get his car.

He says that after we get his car, he will look for jobs.

He says he wants to finish his associate's degree.

He says maybe he will play football somewhere else.

I say nothing.

Because sometimes there are just no words.


Dana Murphy said...

I'm sorry, Carol. It will all work out. He'll open up and he'll find his way. I went through a similar thing when I first went away to college. Sometimes, it just takes some time, some growing, some family.... to make things better. Hang in there.

elsie said...

I understand, this is such a difficult time to be supportive when children do not make the choices you would make. My son had to find his way through school even though it was not my way. Hold on to your faith and believe that he will grow up. My son did, now I couldn't be prouder of him and the person he has become.

Linda B said...

You're a good mom, Carol, to just go along, respect his words, & be willing to wait. Best wishes for him telling you what's happening.

Lisa Keeler said...

Wow- what a powerful moment. How brave you are to write about it. And how wise you are to know that there are no words. Your son is fortunate to have a mother like you.

Ramona said...

Carol, I read this yesterday and my heart ached for you and your son. So glad that he turned to you and home. I have a friend whose son is now back home after a year away and is attending junior college. There are many paths to success. Prayers for you and him.

Judy said...

Your writing continues to impress me. Even in the midst of a very difficult situation, you can write about it as if it were happening to someone else. I love the parallel structure towards the end.

And, of course, I agree with everything said above. Wait and hope. We'll say a prayer for the two of you in the meanwhile.

Chris said...

Carol - thank you for sharing this story. So glad your son decided to be home, with his biggest supporter, to work through this. Sending positive thoughts!

Loralee said...

Home is a safe place to land.