"Hey honey," I enthusiastically said into the phone, "What time does your plane get in?"
"Uh, I don't know, I'll figure it out," Case replied, distractedly; his head still in his classes at school.
There is tremendous satisfaction in sending one's kids off into the world, but it's also reassuring to see them returning home for the holidays. Case is in his sophomore year at the University of Arizona and he's pretty much got the rhythm down. As is appropriate, he's grown incredibly independent.
Me? I'm still struggling with parenting l-o-n-g distance - I can't seem to help myself. I want assurances that Case has booked the shuttle bus to the airport, has checked in online, and has his ID in his wallet. I suppose it's a mother's prerogative; I reserve the right to "mother" my boys (or was that smother?) In any event, my elder son will be home this evening and that's cause for celebration.
Of course, this is the season when the concept of "home" resonates like no other; when celebrations tend to dominate our social calendars and why shouldn't they? Traditions are a wonderful thing. In spite of the challenges the world is facing (or perhaps because of them) Thanksgiving aligns our priorities and sets the stage for the very, "merry" season that follows. Along with the merriment, I find it fitting to pause and acknowledge the many gifts, for which I am truly grateful today -
Our younger son, Tristan, is coming off a fantastic football season his Freshman year at Piedmont High; my husband, Cliff, continues to work at what he loves, still makes me laugh, and remains dedicated to us all; and Case has adjusted beautifully to college life, while diligently navigating his studies (or so he tells me). As for me, I've enjoyed my most successful year to date with a busy 2012 spring season on tap.
I was reminded just how lucky I am at a good friend's chili cook off last weekend (just a small gathering of more than 125 emphatic Cal and Stanford football fans! ) and was pleased to know so many people in the room; grateful to have carved a place in our picturesque community and happy to call Piedmont "home." It couldn't have been a nicer evening - in spite of the rain (now that's a great party). Moreover, the chili was unbelievably tasty. BUT it was catching up with new and old friends alike, and the lively conversations that ensued, that truly made the evening resonate - even days later. (I'm all aglow!)
It's turkey time again, and it would be remiss of me to not to give THANKS for all that I have and all that I've been given. It's been a truly worthwhile year, largely due to all of you, to your support, and because of your referrals, your friendship and your belief in me. (Did I say "thank you?") Thank you.
I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving with family and friends and I wish you all a joyous season. Gobble, gobble.
I'll be sending out the Perspective every other week, as I do this time of year. There's are fewer introductions to speak of and we all tend to get very busy. It will ramp back up come February, when the Spring Market begins to bloom.
Julie Gardner, has been writing The Perspective for 15 years and has published more than 500 essays. She is also a frequent contributor to the Sound Off column in the Real Estate section of The San Francisco Chronicle.