The Homecoming

Two more days until we’re there, David and I. We’ll park in the area reserved for taxis and buses, but with many other cars full of eager parents. College kids from all over are arriving home for the long Winter break!

We’ll keep looking impatiently at the doors to the station until we get that “I’m here” text. Filled with a bouncy giddiness! 


At the beginning of October Ben came home for a quick weekend visit, instead of us going to see him for Family Weekend. His first visit home since we dropped him off for his freshman year.  It had been a day of torrential rains and his train, due in at 10:45pm., kept getting delayed. Text updates poured in from Ben about being stopped on the track as police dealt with a violent passenger. 😮


Then a freight train was stopped on the same track that their train needed to use, because the track they were on was flooded up ahead. One holdup after another, and calls to Amtrak offered little insight or comfort. One hour after another was tacked onto the arrival time, until finally we had confirmation that they were moving again! Due in at 3:15 AM. Seriously?! What was supposed to be an easy 5 hour trip had excruciatingly doubled. But Ben was safe and coming home. That was all that mattered.


It was a late-night adventure, that last time we were here. It was after 3am. when Ben walked out of the station doors toward us. That face was our same sweet boy, but somehow he looked different. Walking with a new confidence. He whispered to David, “I’m different now,” Powerful words confirming he felt what we observed. Some reassuring sameness – the smile that lit up his face as we made eye contact was his same beautiful smile, radiating love. 


The hugs. Those were a homecoming, erasing the time we had been apart. Also sharing the truth we had suspected, that our boy had taken monumental steps toward becoming a man. We had spent years building the foundation and nurturing it with love and care. Allowing for this stunning growth that Ben accomplished on his own.


So, two more days until we’re there, David and I. Excited, like kids who are about to open a long-anticipated mystery present. 

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