Thank you for the birthday wishes! My celebration is extending, as I’m spending a long weekend in NYC for a good friend’s wedding. Yes, NY, NY, one week before our move, and all by myself, believe it or not. I’m flying solo as the trip was a bit much to swing for all 3 of us, and it’s amazing how easy it is to move through the world without a toddler. I am so efficient! Unencumbered! I don’t have to plan carefully re snacks, bathroom breaks, entertainment, or ways to wear myself out. I’m mama incognito. I watch the other moms sympathetically and then settle back into my work.
I’m lonely, too. I already miss my wife’s conversation, my son’s warm, wiggly body, the way he repeats everything I say. I feel a pang thinking that I’m missing story time. He’s had a harder time lately with separation when I leave in the mornings, particularly on days my cousin watches him, and it makes me crazy. He cries my name as I leave and I feel like quitting my job right then and there. First time I’ve experienced this, by the way, as it’s usually directed at Uno, and it’s definitely painful (if perversely reassuring). We haven’t been apart much in two years. This seems like both a luxury and a small miracle, on reflection.
And yet, I’m grateful for the independent time. As I wrote recently — and I know so many can relate! — it’s rare that I feel like I can access this part of myself. Rare to be alone, able to indulge in my thoughts. This trip is linked to other trips in my mind, my younger self off in the world, often solo. The photo prompt for yesterday was “something you wrote,” and I snapped a picture of my old journals, many filled in Latin American villages or small shared East Coast apartments. Hard to imagine all that time, now, and all that uncertainty and unknown. I like remembering it. I like feeling the space between then and today. I miss the adventure, but not the angst. I do hope we can figure out a way to go abroad as a family — possibly live overseas at some point? — but right now, life is about planting strong roots.
Today: airports, coffee, bad food, a good book, grading on the tray table, texting Uno when I can. Tomorrow: old friends! New York! A much anticipated wedding! Sunday: home again, my boy, my wife. I’m a lucky bastard, and I know it, and I hope I can keep remembering it through sleeplessness and stress.
Here are the journals. One of these was written in the nineties when I was a high school exchange student, one in Boston when I was temping and agonizing over what to do with my life, others when I backpacked through Latin America after college (lonely, amazed, sick, naive, bold, by turns). Now I suppose blogging has replaced all this scribbling. What will Jaybird write in, on, about? Hmmm.