Susan Dix Lyons: Pick Me Up

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Susan Dix Lyons’ children are growing up and moving on, so any excuse to spend time with them is a good excuse.

"Can you pick me up, please?"

I’m sitting next to my husband on the couch watching something on Hulu when I get a text from my oldest son. He’s 25 and coming home from a day in the city after catching the Warriors parade with friends. He’s staying in his childhood bedroom for a week, working remotely.

“It’s late,” my husband says. “He can take an Uber.” I say nothing. The quiet between us grows. My husband presses the mute button on the TV remote and looks at me. “You want to pick him up, don’t you?” he says. We’re in the middle of a show in which the drama is pretty compelling.

“Yes,” I say.

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What I don’t say: Even though it’s summer and the days are long, they seem to be gaining velocity. What I don’t say: Even though it’s late and I’m tired and the drive is at least 15 minutes each way and the show we’re watching is very good – I’m feeling sensitive to time, like open flesh to the sting of a wasp. My first child, my baby boy, is 25 and working in an industry I only somewhat understand, and my second, my other boy, will soon be moving across an entire ocean to start a new phase of his life, and my youngest, my fiery-sweet girl, is home from college but soon – so soon – will be gone again as she leans into her own promise. All of this is good and right.

But what I don’t say: The planets that used to orbit me tightly are spinning off and I am here in the bygone-center, cradling my own heat.

I don’t want to miss a single moment that I can add to all the other moments of time spent with the astonishing bodies that I once held.

“Go,” my husband says. “I’ll wait.” And I pick up my keys and step into the dark to bring my child home once more.

With a Perspective, I’m Susan Dix Lyons.

Susan Dix Lyons is the founder of a nonprofit who lives in the Napa Valley.