So I grabbed the phone and in a half-asleep voice uttered "Hello?"
"Katie Bodiford, this is your son Daniel," a familiar voice playfully exclaimed on the other end.
So relieved to hear him sounding chipper (even if it was in the middle of the night) I peppered him with questions. Was he having a good time? Had he made any new friends? Before I could go through the list I'd been mentally compiling for his return, he excitedly began giving me the rundown about his week...
"Mom! You wouldn't believe it! It's all you can eat and we get SECONDS on anything we want! Pizza! Ice cream! You name it! It's just like college! It's so cool!"
"I've been playing basketball and guess what, Mom? They asked if we would share if we had grown closer to God and I raised my hand. I do feel I've grown closer to God!"
and then... the one that really got me: "Oh and it's so cool! It's so much fun. It's just like something you would have planned, Mom!"
Ok, I know that I shouldn't put that one above growing closer to God. I don't honestly. BUT. What really touched me was not only did he equate me with something that was fun to him but he acknowledged what I have done for a living for so many years. He gets it. Sure I love that he sees me as the person who does his laundry and cooks and cleans the house. But to hear him put together his experience with that other part of me... well, it brought me to tears. The whole conversation did. Hearing a kid that was so afraid of succumbing to separation anxiety actually reveling in his new found freedom was heartwarming to say the least.
After a few I love you's and I miss you's, I hung up the phone and laid there in the dark with happy tears streaming down my cheeks. My son was maturing before my eyes--no longer that scared little boy but a young man finding joy in spreading his wings a bit.
And at that moment, I ached deep inside to hug him. And, surprisingly found myself thinking that Friday cannot get here soon enough.
Boy do I love that kid.