My Family Has GOT to Go Away More Often
Last weekend (Sat. April 13th 2013), while my family went off to our relatives’ country house in Plymouth for the weekend, I whittled away time at home, whacking away at myriad projects and goals; some planned, some unplanned, all fantastic.
The first morning, I received this text from my husband:
My daughter basking in sunshine with her Big Girl Cousin Olivia over breakfast. Not bad!
And later that day I got this one of her napping at the beach, Clever Girl!
As the weekend progressed, and I got deeper into fruitful progress (and perhaps my husband’s enthusiasm waned a bit for my staying behind), I did not receive any more photos, but these two were enough to sustain me. (Refinished a cabinet, rearranged furniture, CLEANED and repaired stuff, excavated work space, got through mail, paid bills and *finally* started my *actual* work. You know, the administrative underbelly of my *JOB.*) The clock was ticking on my family’s return and I had finally made it to the productive sweet spot of work, when…
By the time they were to head home from Plymouth, two deadly bombs had exploded at the Boston Marathon finish line. Fortunately none of us had followed through on notions to go down to the race as we sometimes do. And with 30 state troopers screaming past them on the ride home, they returned home to me, completely safe and unharmed.
Lying in bed with my daughter that night, letting my body melt all around hers as she strong arms me around the neck (seriously; did not know a one year old could be so strong, or possess such fierce determination to snuggle), the only place for my face was beneath her check. So I drank in the ambrosia and breathed in her essence, reeling from exhilaration, relishing that this right here exactly is precisely as good as it gets, recognizing some people never have such a perfect moment in their lives; that this could be my final happiest thought in life. Then, while wondering if she had yet drifted off to sleep, her cute voice rises up and says, “YAAAAAAAY!” Then she laughs, and I laugh, and she settles in to mock deep breathing with me, which I don’t know if it’s more adorable or hilarious. Does anyone know what I’m talking about? As a certain incomparable Hungarian theatre school classmate of mine once called it, “Huge Crazy Love.”
As that subsides, my son, from the top bunk above us, reaches down over the side of his bed to teach me how to make a bow and arrow out of my fingers. He holds his hand as a target, assigns each digit a value, and instructs me to shoot. First shot, 39 points. Then a miss. Then I land on his palm. Infinity points! Another miss. Then 22 more points. “Wow!” I say, slightly fececiously, “39 plus infinity plus 22 points!” “Yep,” he says, “That’s a googleon hexalon,” he says. “Um, wait,” I wonder, “Is that real?” Although my understanding of Montessori method is minimal, i do know they teach exponential quantities of numbers to be, “Always knowable.” But not necessarily to the dumb ass parents. What was knowable was how endearing it was he also had a spot on his hand that incurred a penalty; of ONE point. So that makes, “One googleon hexalon take away one.”
Fast forward through an epoch tickling episode and finally suggesting perhaps a more sleep-friendly activity, Gavin proposes to sing me a lullaby… that he makes up; “I’ll make it up, with my brain.” Two intoxicating Huge Crazy Love episodes in one night? Yes, my son wraps his arms around me and serenades me in this little angel voice about loving each other and being there for me and “once I have my hands on you I’ll never let you go-o-o-o,” and more. Lest I get too lost in the ambrosia (kids are always jousting you; intentionally, wittingly, unwittingly, or otherwise) and I was invited to make one up as well. Overcoming my hesitation and coming up with something, when I finished, he approved, “Good, Mom!” (Thanks, Honey!)
Let me not underestimate the extent to which our city getting bombed today made all this all the more intensely sweet. I dunno. I am pretty much amazed on a daily basis the relative security and luxury we enjoy compared to… I dunno… like, the ENTIRE WORLD; Baghdad, Sudan, Afghanistan, Haiti… My humanity is shaken and my feelings are hurting for my city and the guests who suffered unthinkable results –3 (dead), 140+(injured) & 10(amputated) is the current count as I write– and I think it’s a profound shame that the dark side of humanity rears its tyrannical head so destructively, AND it’s a total shock to have it happen on US soil and in your OWN TOWN… but I DON’T think it’s *unfair* that it would happen here as opposed to anywhere else. Being *born* privileged, and living a privileged life does not in fact entitle you to those privileges (to the exclusion of others).
Such as… in this case, soon BOTH my kids were sleeping and yet *I* was still awake, AND so was my husband for a few minutes of togetherness yet. Please do not underestimate the rarity of the confluence of these events. Although no doubt heightened by the bombing, I believe tonight would still have been the same sweet victorious night in our lucky, lucky, lucky, lucky, blessed, reunited micro-enclave just the same.
If only there were a way to test the theory. Hmm. Wait, I’ve got it. My family just needs to GO AWAY again. Just for a couple days again. And no bombings this time.