Greetings from 30,000 feet above the East Coast of the US! I don’t know whether there’s a Mile High Blogging Club, but let’s not go there.
I’m on my way home from Boston and the wedding of my best friend – second only to the person I’m married to, of course. I was best man in the wedding. What a great ceremony it was, filled with wonderful people who celebrated like few weddings I’ve ever been to. The outpouring of support was moving, and I especially appreciated the free rides that liberated me from the ridiculous tolls and travails around Boston’s airport, plus a futon to crash on!
It was a bilingual service (English and Spanish), and of course being the lame American that I am, I don’t know Spanish at all. One thing I learned is that there are those moments when you don’t need to know a language to understand the power of the meaning behind them. When my best friend’s now mother-in-law put a double lasso rosary necklace (el lazo – not so great pictures of it here) – a family heirloom of great significance – around their necks to join them together, I had no idea what she was saying, but I knew it was beautiful. I could see the pride and the blessing in her eyes.
Of course, all weddings remind me of ours. It was good to be reminded of what we felt like then and how far we have come since. That’s a mighty long way, baby!
After six hours of sleep over the past two days, I am borderline incoherent, though I’m sure many people think I’m usually that way. Two mornings in a row getting up before 4:00AM has been a bit rough. We’ll be off to Seattle and The Wedding – Part II tomorrow morning. With family and friends spread out all over the country, I suppose no one can have just one wedding anymore. 🙂
The Boston trip was a solo for me, but Mary and I are going to Seattle together. The hardest part of all this isn’t the lack of sleep – a few lattes, some sugar, and various other jolting chemicals can artificially keep you awake long enough – it’s traveling without J-Man.
There’s no way on earth he could have handled the wild travel hours, the plane ride and having to stay in a seat that long, the air pressure changes in flight, the noise and the people, and (not) sleeping in strange places. I don’t like flying either so I can imagine what it would be like for him.
(Currently, I’m cruising six miles up in a metallic paper towel roll with wings that was constructed entirely by people under four feet tall…I could just see him in here…)
So after I limp back into the house today, I’m going to shower, eat, dump out the Boston pile from the suitcase and replace it with the Seattle pile, then we’re driving to Charlotte to Mary’s parents’ house. We’re going to leave J-Man with them, fly from Charlotte to Seattle in the morning, then return overnight Sunday night on the red-eye. If we actually come through all that with some measure of alertness and our blood latte level is high enough, we’ll meet her parents and J-Man at the airport, transfer the car seat and luggage, and drive the 3 1/2 hours back home. I may sleep for a month after that.
He’s in good hands with the ‘outlaws’ (just kidding!) as Mary’s parents are hard-wired for grandkid spoilage and do their jobs incredibly well. Lord knows what they’ll have gotten him by the time we come home!
Still, it’s so hard to leave him. I was talking with one of the moms at the wedding and she told me about her – now adult – special needs son. We talked about how hard it is to be with your child most every hour of every day and work so intensely with him and then have to switch all that completely off when you leave for a few days. It feels to me like throwing a speeding car suddenly into reverse.
I saw other toddlers at the wedding and felt terribly homesick. I only last saw him about 36 hours ago, but I couldn’t help but look at his pictures and watch a little bit of a home movie on my iPod on the plane.
When I called home last night to tell him goodnight, I sang him Old MacDonald (one of our new favorites), he pitifully said ‘oh-oh’ after I did “e-i-e-i”, and Mary said he stuck his bottom lip out after that and started crying. She also said he wandered over to my side of the bed and patted it, looking around for me. Let me tell you just how hard that is. Well, some of you probably already know.
We all need breaks, but I also feel like part of me is missing. It’s like leaving home without your car keys, wallet, phone, shoes, and half your clothes, only ten times stronger. After the intense, day-to-day life at home, I realize I don’t know how to switch it off.
I say I worry about how he’ll handle all the normal away-from-home anxiety he has without us around. We’ve never tried it before. In all likelihood, that’s my way of making an excuse for my own feelings. I’ve gone mental about leaving him and my worry about how he’ll handle it is just a good excuse. I’m just going to be one of those parents, and I’m alright with that. It’s a learning curve, that’s all.
Since typing in this tin can of a plane is like trying to line dance in a closet, it’s time to wrap this up. Expect a “holy crap, I miss my kid!” post at some point on the next leg of the journey. Otherwise, we’ll be quiet for a few more days.
All that said, we’ll have even more joyous celebrating to do in Seattle and I expect that will fill us again with a renewed sense of who we are as husband and wife as well as daddy and mommy. Given the stress of recent weeks, that may be exactly the best possible thing for us right now.