And so begins another week, boyless.We are holding his place for him even as we try to take advantage of being able to do things that it doesn’t make sense to do when he’s home. You never know what you are going to miss, that’s for sure, and you never know what small temporary joys will pop up – like being able to leave a bowl of apples and peaches on the table. Other items are scattered around the kitchen that aren’t typically in plain sight – bananas, french rolls, hot dog buns, home made chocolate chip cookies. He loves them but should not eat them – they cause physically mild but emotionally distressing reactions – but if they are within reach he cannot consistently resist the temptation (kind of like me and chocolate). It almost seems disrespectful to have them laying around; like an open bar to an alcoholic. It’s not that big a deal but it is nice to have the food where I can see it – how many rotten apples, black bananas and moldy breads have I found in drawers, closets and cabinets over the years? I hide the food better from myself than from him much of the time. Often I just don’t buy what he shouldn’t eat but when others in the family request it I think it is important to respect their preferences, too.
The place holding is literal as well as figurative – his seat at the table is marked by two ceramic hearts he made last spring, professing his love of art and of us. I can’t predict how much he will have changed when he gets home, but I am certain that I will be different having gone so long without him. The hearts will prevail, though, that I know.