# All the Directions of the Heart

When two of your adult children are dating people you have yet to meet in person but already love; when your adult children’s work and school commitments keep them from coming home to visit you; when they would still like to see you and introduce you to their people; well, then you road trip to where they are. R. and I have been immersed in their company in all the wedge-shaped spaces that fit around the blocky contours of normal, demanding schedules, and there’s been a shimmering, radiating joy at our togetherness, sharing meals and laughter and back stories and blessings.

As if time with the four of them wasn’t enough to hold, my walks and talks each day with old and new friends has further overflowed my heart, our nascent or decades-long journeys quantified this week in our steps together:

Monday: 6,762 steps, because we were with a four-year-old, and she got tired on her bike.

Tuesday: 15,029 steps, and the dogs could have kept going, but it was time for piano lessons.

Wednesday: 7,610 steps, instead of the budinos we used to eat while talking about teaching.

Thursday: 11,992 steps, which included the stairs in the house they’re renovating.

Friday: 4,230 steps, because even the length of all the grocery aisles doesn’t add up to much.

And on the way home, we’ll reach and pass 300,000 original miles on our noble white steed of a vehicle, the one we bought 20 years ago, the day we first moved to the Austin area—it has taken all of us everywhere we needed to go, from preschool to PhD.

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