Right now, I am almost 400 miles, 6 hours by car, away from home.
I am finishing up my last week on the Navajo Reservation working on my project about diabetes among the Navajo. You know, a nice, small, easily definable topic (please note the sacrasm).
I just realized that this may be my last time that I ever come here. While it is not the most beautiful place in the world, the people are amazing, the history and culture deeper than I will ever be able to comprehend.
I just got off the phone from saying good night to my darling boys. I can't believe how grown up they sound on the phone, when they are stripped away of the visual misperceptions I have, that they are still babies and it is 2 years, 6 years ago, and nothing ever changes.
Blaise chatters in his sweet voice that he painted at school. He, still requiring a little coaching from Keith, says "Love you Mama," and "Good-bye" before his two year old attention is called back to the couch cushions.
Roman tells me which state flag he is currently coloring. (Are there other six year old boys who ask for a print out of all the state flags so that he can color a few of them each night?)
Roman: I'm drawing South Carolina's flag.
Me: Oh, really. Guess what? I'm going to be going to South Carolina in a couple of weeks.
Roman: Wow! Really? Pause. Do they speak a different language in South Carolina?
I ask him how his spelling test practice is going.
Roman: Hey guess what?! I can spell animal!
Me: Really! That's great. How do you spell it?
Roman: A-L, no wait, I messed up, A-N... Well, I know what it looks like. It looks like "an-I-mAle." And I'm still having trouble with "flower."
I can't believe that I can have conversations, REAL conversations with my son. How did the time ever get by me so fast? I still get the feeling I wasn't watching close enough. And suddenly, I am having conversation about how much he likes the Utes football uniforms because they are black.
And there is only one way to describe the funny ache in my chest that is a combination of overwhelming love for my children, the pride I have in them, and the pain and glory of watching them grow up: