"Home is the place where, when you have to go there, they have to let you in."

-- Robert Frost

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

don't cherry bomb me

Sitting on the driveway, soaking in the warm afternoon rays of late, I watched my children playing a game of 4-square.  I'd played that game nearly every day at recess through my elementary years ... when I hadn't been picked for kickball ... which was pretty darn often.

This particular afternoon, I sat as casual observer and occasional referee. Our competitive bunch requires plenty of "celebration penalties" else things get out of hand pretty quickly.

Newel, home from work at a decent time, joined me in the moment.

One child passed to another and as the play took fevered pitch, there was a spike to the ground afoot and the ball sailed wildly over Grant's head, skittering off to the yard.

"HEY!!! You CHERRY BOMBED me!!" he hollered as one who's inner sense of audibility has long been lost from woodland living.

Newel and I laughed at the term used for a surprise sneak attack and stunned reaction to elapsed opportunity.

Then we tried to wipe smiles off our faces and as-seriously-as-possible remind big ones not to target little ones in the game.  And then as teasing families are wont to do, we used the "don't cherry bomb me" phrase again and again in various references over the next couple of days ... much to Grant's growling displeasure and our controlled snickering.

Newel made a recent visit to his oldest brother's home in Utah.  He and our sister-in-law are the parents of six children, nearly all grown and off on their own.  On Newel's return, he related to me the quiet nature of their home by comparison to ours.  I found it hard to picture as my last visit had been a fun-loving tangle of teenage comings and goings.  I'd remember thinking, this was the place to be.

Similarly, this weekend we made a stop by friends in the self same position and I saw the phenomenon in action, myself.  A home where last I'd spent such quality time, alive with the ins and outs of a busy and youthful family life.  As a mother of littler ones, I'd longed time and again for that exciting atmosphere they'd created in their home and now, though still youthful :) all was different.  Things were tidy and neat and calm.  I wondered if she once thought that there would ever come a moment when the sink would be dish-less or the mounds of school paper trail would cease to exist.  And yet, it seemed they were heading toward that very reality leaving us alone in our hub.

Later on the drive home in our car, Newel remarked, "So quiet .. huh? ... So different than what seems like yesterday ... what will we do when things are so quiet?"

"I think I'll feel cherry bombed" was all I could say and his knowingly silent nod and reach for my hand in the darkness, told me that he felt the same.


  1. I do so agree. Though I must admit that I am more & more tired, and can see that by the time the kids all leave I'll be so exhausted I'll be ready for more quiet!

  2. I know. I hate the fact that my kids are growing up, as if I have a choice, but I think I'm rebelling a little. I want them to stay little forever.
    I love the 'cherry bomb' expression.