My son is a champ.  He spent 7.5 hours in the car over two days and didn’t whine or cry once.  He sang songs of mine and songs of his (I made him his own CD of Laurie Berkner songs, he loves them!) and read some books I brought him in the car.  What I didn’t anticipate was how hard it would be to handle him on my own away from home for two and half days in a house that’s not his own.  So we left early.  We got there Friday at noon and we left Saturday night at five.  He’s just a busy guy.  And I never got a rest.  Selfish?  Maybe.  He didn’t get a nap on Friday and that’s my fault, so I don’t blame him when he’s crying and upset at 8:00 in the evening as we headed out to watch a band in the park.  He eventually fell asleep in his stroller and I got to hang out and listen to the music while he slept.  Everyone brings their kids to the park so that’s not the bad part but then I’m in bed with him at 10:30 singing him to sleep and so I didn’t get to stay up and visit.  I’m not mad about that, that’s my job as a parent and I would lay down with him every night of my life if I had to, but if Rob was there, it would have been different and so maybe I just made a poor choice and put my son in a situation that wasn’t comfortable for him.  I have taken Luke on overnight trips before but that was just one evening and one night and we were headed back home by morning.  In this case we weren’t supposed to leave until Sunday afternoon and that was another whole day of  no nap and another night of going to watch the park until 10:30 or 11:00 again and possibly putting Luke in another mood that wasn’t his fault.  If Rob was there he could have taken on least half of the holding, entertaining, and watching him.  My arms were shaking by the end of the night and while I don’t always carry Luke when he asks, I also don’t say no to him when it’s MY OWN FAULT he’s upset because I screwed up his routine.  I can’t expect a two-year old to just roll with the punches.

So I was stressed a bit.  On Saturday afternoon we had met my brother at the Fire House for lunch and then went back to M’s house to wait for her to get home.  I sat in the back yard while Luke played.  Again, it’s not like I can sit and read a book on their deck because they have a small pond in their yard that is not visible from their deck so I had to be down in the yard with my eye on him.  AGAIN, I’m not complaining because it’s my job to keep my eye on him around something that could take his life.  While I trust Luke to not go in the pond, I can’t trust that he might lose his footing or fall in on accident and then I can’t see him and hello?  That’s not good.  So anyway, I’m thinking in my mind everything I’ve written here and how I just want to go home.  So I try to make up some excuses but none of them are good and then I think, WHY DON’T I JUST TELL M THE TRUTH?  So I did.  And she was really understanding about it and since we will be back on Labor Day, we can visit more then.  I felt dumb though.  But she was all, my kids are 4 and 5 so I had a good 3 years of feeling the way you do with my kids in an environment that is not their own.

I guess I tried though, right?

Visiting with M wasn’t awkward at all.  It was actually nice and pretty much like it was a long time ago.  But the key phrase is “a long time ago” because gosh I can’t help but feel like that was a whole other life.  As I drove into the town I grew up in, it’s like driving into a time warp.  I could also describe it as visiting your childhood home that someone else lives in.  It’s like you go to get the breakfast cereal out of the cupboard that it belongs in but instead of finding the cereal, it’s the canned goods instead and you’re like, but we always kept the cereal in THIS CUPBOARD and then the people there are all, who the hell do you think you are?  No one knows you there, life didn’t stop while you were gone, some things are the same and some things have changed so much.  And to top it off, that was the last place that your family was an actually family.  The four of us.  Just us four.  Because once we moved, the four of us fell apart, although we still love each other tremendously, can’t keep a secret from each other, and talk every day, that family, that family of four is no longer.

I was greeted with hugs by quite a few people, so no, no one was rude or it’s not like that but that also no one know what kind of emotions it pulls up out of me just driving into that town.  And I sort of hate that it does that.  AND it’s not that those memories are sad, it’s just…..different….a whole different life…world….whatever.  I’m still going back on Labor Day and maybe it will be easier to go there if I went there more.

I had this idea though, before I even left, for a present for my brother.  I planned to take a picture of our street sign from the street we grew up on and then our childhood home and frame them, but the house just looked too different but the street sign was the exact same so I took the picture.  I’m going to blow it up and frame it for him.  Because I did love our childhood.  We had a lot of fun growing up together. On this street we spent many a Christmas morning, made dozens and dozens of chocolate chip cookies and it’s also where he taught me how to hold my baseball glove the right way.

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  1. Kendra

     /  August 15, 2010

    cool picture idea….
    and i ‘felt’ your pain…

  2. You gave it a try – that’s all you can do, right?

    Sign picture = awesome. Your brother is going to love it.

  3. Sassafras

     /  August 16, 2010

    Love the pic!

    I’ve disovered that traveling is hard right now at this age. We have made the decision not to arrive anywhere at night which helps some but sleeping is tough and then that means we’re tired and by the end of it we wonder why we bothered. And yet? We keep doing it because we like to go places! Crazy.

  4. jc

     /  August 17, 2010

    love the pic!


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