Making sandwiches this week will have an extra meaning. Because any sandwich I prepare will be blended with a mix of longing and salty tears.
Believe it or not, my favorite joke that my middle son tells me is, “Why don’t women need driver’s licenses? Because there is no road between the kitchen and the bedroom!” I know I know, women’s lib and all that. But he says it with a wink and a smile, knowing he is about to make me laugh.
His running joke with me is, “Why aren’t you in the kitchen making me a sandwich?” Sandwich jokes are sprinkled between conversations every few days, making me chuckle each time. Before you judge, know that this kid is the master of the dishwasher, and can clean a kitchen down in minutes flat.
Back to my salty tears. My son’s dream has been to visit his friend in California. San Diego that is – my birthplace. I have many memories of 6620 Oakridge Road, from ice plant to tumble weeds to olive trees and snails.
And Disneyland. Oh my goodness, Disneyland. Sitting next to my father on “It’s a Small World,” mesmerized by the moving characters and the forever playing tune.
Sadly, the cost of a plane ticket has kept me from giving my son his dream. Until now. He saved a nice amount, leading grandmothers and family to add some as well. Yesterday I woke him up early and drove him to the airport to send him on his way to sunny CA.
If you know me well, you understand this was not as easy for me as it sounds. Putting my 15-year-old son on a plane alone to fly across the country was one of the hardest things I have ever done. I would miss his first airplane ride. His first trip to Disney. His first impressions of California itself!
My special thanks to Southwest for letting me walk him directly to his gate.
Saturday morning we sat together, staring at the plane that would soon transport him towards the Pacific. We talked, I reminded him of far too many things and he even let me hug him. Three times.
Now, for those of you who are aeronautically inclined. WHY WERE THE WINGS BENT ON HIS PLANE?! What the heck!
When my son was finally in line, he smiled his wicked little smile and told me to go home, make a sandwich and cry in to it. I promised I would do just that. He gave me another wonderful hug and without turning back, walked on to the plane.
I stared at that plane until it began to taxi out of the gate. Then I walked to the weeping wall – a glass area for those like me who choose to drag out their sad goodbyes. Two other parents joined me there, all snuffling up their tears while explaining, “My child is on that plane!”
After my son’s plane shot safely up in to the air, I took one last picture of him disappearing in to the sky. I am not ashamed of my absolute pitifullness. I think I made up that word.
When I got home, I quickly grabbed a piece of bread and held it to my eye for a picture. I think the very believable frown simply makes this shot. As soon as my boy got off the plane OH SO FAR AWAY, he would receive it in a text message and smile – knowing that his sappy sandwich-making mother was missing him.
Son? Have fun, be safe and don’t forget to go on Pirates of the Caribbean. Your sandwich will be waiting for you when you get home from your great adventure. See you in a week!