Every time I pull into the driveway, I instinctively look at the front porch to see if there is a package by the door. Even when it’s pitch-black outside and the front door is as good as invisible, I can’t help but check to see if there is a little (or big) brown box tucked into the corner, just waiting for me to get home.
Of course, usually there isn’t. Sometimes there are things, of course. My Kitchen aid (which mysteriously arrived ONE DAY after I ordered it), flowers to celebrate my graduation, and our new CD player.
If we do get a package, though, it’s almost certainly from my mom. My mom has been sending me packages and envelopes since I left for college. I got a fat envelope with a skirt in it, a scarf she saw in Minnesota and thought I would like (she was wrong; I loved it!), wedding announcements of people I knew, postcards from wherever she might be (or just ones that were hilarious and random), flowers for me and my roommate, for successfully completing our first semester of college. The next year, when I lived in an apartment instead of the dorms, it continued: the biggest birthday box I’d ever seen, Valentine’s candy, bunny ear headbands for Easter. When I got married, the surprise packages continued, this time including Bart. We got kites to fly in the spring, a tie for Bart, a necklace for me, a magazine article she thought I would like, a picture that reminded her of me. My heart gives a little leap every time I pull something out of the mailbox with her handwriting on the top. When I see a package by my front door, I automatically assume it’s from her.
The first package that came to our house, only two weeks after we moved in, was a Halloween box, jammed with pumpkin bread, jam, a ceramic pumpkin, spiderweb place mats, and a seasonal dishcloth. That package arrived early in the morning, about ten a.m. When I returned from an errand and saw it sitting on our doorstep, I knew before I read my name in her handwriting that it was from her.
Tonight, when I drove home from work and pulled up to the house, I looked again, not expecting anything, but looking out of habit. Nothing.
Then, while I was lying on the couch, reading, the doorbell rang. I was home alone and there is no peephole in our door. Still, after a second of deliberation, I opened the door. There was no one there. But there was a little brown package nestled in the corner. The UPS guy, half way across the street, waved.