Sunday, March 6, 2011

Comforting Rituals

When I was in junior high, my best friend Mary Lynn lived on a ranch outside of town. It was always a totally unique experience for me to visit her at the ranch. Wide open windows in the living and dinning rooms looked out not only at their vast land spotted with cattle grazing quietly, but also from this vantage point you could watch whomever was making their way down their long drive. Their "drive", not nearly the same as my suburban driveway was their own private road and from the dinning room we would watch a cloud of smoke turn into a car - "oh here comes Karen". It was a different experience to anticipate someone's arrival with so much enthusiasm. The trip out was also fun however in its own ritualistic way. Whenever any members of their family, and those friends who were in the know about this ritual, would leave, they would "beep beep" their horn and we would wave as they drove out. I loved this ritual and it was so fun to participate as I'd make sure my mom would honk appropriately as we drove by and I'd wave vigorously.

There haven't been too many times in my life where I lived at a house where a departing honk would work as well. But lately I have resurrected this ritual in a most ideal fashion. My grandson Jaden at almost two is totally into trucks, cars and beeping of horns. Even though they too live on a residential street and I don't have a long driveway to drive, I have started doing the "beep beep" as I leave, in my heart the same feelings of departure within me. "Bye bye" the honk says, see you soon. I smile to myself, wondering if he heard, picturing his eyes becoming wide, him looking at his mommy and saying "beep beep" and many even someday, knowing who it is, smiling knowingly saying "Nana".

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