growing up · slice of life

You can always come back home.

Inside Waiting

“Can I go outside and wait with Fox?” Isabelle asked.

I checked my phone. Two minutes until the bus would arrive. I checked the sidewalk. Fox was already waiting — between his driveway and ours — for the schoolbus.

“Sure!”

Isabelle looked surprised so I continued. “I’ll watch from the window until you get on the bus.”

Isabelle donned her backpack and walked to the door. I stooped down, though not quite as far as I used to, and kissed the top of her head. I opened the door, waved hello to Fox, and felt the cold hit me.

“Are you sure you want to wait outside? It’s cold.”

“I’m sure,” Isabelle replied.

“Have a good day!” I called to both of them as I closed the door.

I cradled my coffee while Isabelle walked towards her 12-year-old neighbor. Next, she walked to our mailbox and opened it. She noticed it was empty and promptly closed it. Then, she walked in a couple of small circles. She peered longingly at our house. She walked closer, but not too close.

I opened the door, “Are you cold? Do you want to come back inside and wait?”

She nodded. Fox and I exchanged knowing looks.

“Do you want to come inside and wait too?”

He replied with a polite no, reminding me he’s always warm.

Isabelle hustled back to the front door. I smiled and reminded her, “You can always come back home.”

Those words lingered in my mind. To me, it meant more than coming inside on a cold morning, but I doubted she picked up on the dual meaning.

Less than 30 seconds later, the school bus rounded the corner. Time to say goodbye again.

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15 thoughts on “You can always come back home.

  1. This is what it is forever – letting them go, always with a bit more distance and time, and yet, always being ready for them to return. The possibility of safe return is what gives strength for the kids, isn’t it?

  2. “You can always come back home.” Those words brought tears to my eyes. They are indeed words that will be used many a time as your daughter grows. Hang on tight and hug often.

  3. I wish that I had a “Love” button instead of just a “Like” button! Thank you for sharing Isabelle and Ari with the slicing community:) I can’t believe how much she’s grown!

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