The son flew into LAX on Saturday night, returning from his community service sojourn to New Orleans, where he cleaned up estuaries, painted houses, cleaned up a charter school. We were waiting for him at United baggage claim.
Somehow, we missed his arrival down the stairs and escalators--the area was mobbed--and it wasn't until I saw some of his classmates that I realized he must have snuck past me.
I walked over to the baggage carousel where he and one of his teachers were waiting. He saw me quite suddenly, and he hurried over to me, arms outstretched, grabbing me in a huge, hard hug.
When did he get so strong?
"Mommy!" he squeaked, his face buried in my shoulder, even though he had to stoop to do so. It was done jokingly, but the quiet, "You have no idea how good it is to be home," was anything but jest.
"Hi, kid," I said, hugging him back.
Go listen to some music: "I am Your Child" from the album Barry Manilow I by Barry Manilow. I just saw this song listed under funeral songs. Yikes!