It’s about halfway point in a two week absence from Owen this summer. Edward and I are celebrating our 25th anniversary with a long-planned trip to Italy. Our son Scott reminds us that this trip has been about twenty years in the making. Over the weekend all our children will join us in Florence, except for Owen.
During this past week I have had moments of deep anxiety about him, while trying to let go, relax and enjoy beautiful sights and sounds and tastes of Venice .
In response to my worried text query last week, Freya immediately sent me a this —
— along with a text message: “Owen has been in a good mood so far, happy to do the usual and the unusual. Right now [I’m] following him about the yard on his self-guided tour, slowly herding him inside to get into a bathing suit – he swam a lot for me when I put all his toys in the water! I’m hoping his general good-natured-ness lasts for Tania.”
Yes, me too. Thursday my niece Tania and nephew Shaun arrived, and yesterday took charge of Owen, house, gardens, 2 dogs, and 14 chickens, while Freya and Oskar fly to join us in Florence.
Relief washed over me receiving this photo, seeing Owie’s quirky smile and reading Frey’s words. Relief washes over me again each time I see it! I wonder what I am afraid of? It isnt that I think Owen can’t survive without me. Not exactly. I want him to know that he is loved, and that we are coming back. And I know from long and deep experience that although Owen loves outings, he likes them to familiar places. He likes to know where the toilet us. He gets no benefit from extended contact with things foreign – as far as I can tell he just feels disconnected. When we have tried to take him to new places his restless prowling has sometimes been disastrous, but certainly not relaxing.
So as I get ready to leave behind the water sounds of the waves washing romantic, crumbling Venice outside my window this morning, to explore gardens, wineries, and museums of bright hot Tuscany, I know that it’s right that Owen is at home, with people that love him, doing the usual instead.
Maybe I will find him a really cool ancient Roman rock…or, better yet, an Italian soda bottle.