Hmmmm. I’m trying to think about the weekend and perhaps it’s too soon.
I slept nearly the entire four hour plane trip home yesterday, so that’s saying something.
I dreamed I was pregnant, and for several heart-stopping minutes after I woke up, I was convinced it was true.
When I realized it was just a dream, I nearly told the unfriendly guy sitting next to me how relieved I was, but then thought perhaps that wouldn’t go over so well.
So. A few thoughts on the weekend. I traveled on Friday to Chicago where I met my mother at the airport. We took the train downtown and caught a taxi to the hotel where we were immediately greeted by several relatives. It was family wedding time.
Vacation for the mama!
The scene was both familiar and stunning. My uncles, as usual, were in excellent form. Bow ties, snappy dressers, smiles and cigars. I missed my dad. My grandpa, too.
According to the Neckwear Association of America, bow ties represent 3 percent of the 100 million ties sold each year in the United States. I think my family must significantly contribute to their growing popularity.
My aunts were a pleasure. One rocked sparkly purple four (five?) inch heels. Another danced better than most on the floor. Everyone was happy.
Happy sometimes means boring, but this kind of happy was a delight to experience.
Making friends with one’s own relatives has got to be one of life’s unexpected gifts.
You never know when it’s going to happen.
You can’t pick your family, right? Well, sometimes you can. The ones brought into a large family by marriage, and in turn their family members, and friends… well, the circle grows wider. We step back to make room for more. More family, more love. It’s complicated, and it’s simple, really.
More love, more vulnerability. More joy, more potential for heartbreak. More… more everything. If I had to get married again to my hubby, I’d do so. But the vow-taking part is a little scary. I write in the public space, but I don’t like to physically STAND in the public space. Whew. Glad that’s over. We’re heading toward our nine-year wedding anniversary plus the six years that “don’t count”…
That means he and I have experienced fifteen years of more.
One of my cousins mentioned that I am on the elderly side of the cousin spectrum that now ranges from age 18 to 43. Well, he didn’t really use the word “elderly”.
It was implied.
Oh well. Today I’m embarking on a ten-day wellness experience during which I will consume limited caffeine and no alcohol, sugar, dairy, gluten or processed foods. Pretty much the entire opposite of my family wedding weekend. I’m very excited right now at the prospect of spending time preparing meals and snacks for me and my family. One of the best things about coming home to my husband and children was just that: being home.
Going away is wonderful, but coming home is a joy.
The boys were so excited to see me, literally scrambling on top and beside me, speaking at the same time, their voices overlapping and sparkling. One made me a welcome home card. Now, mind I was only gone for 48 hours.
Based on my kids’ reaction, my husband commented, It’s like you’re the Beatles!
I asked him about how the weekend had gone.
Great, he said.
Husband: But, you know, they eat. They eat all the time!
Me: Yeah, um, did you feed them actual meals?
Husband: Yes! Meals! And snacks! Entire cucumbers! And olives!
My boys ate several meals, cucumbers and olives while I was away. So that’s pretty great. I think cukes and olives are included in my wellness plan, too.
This morning I met a friend to run four miles by the river after dropping the boys at school, then came home and did a ton of laundry. Our garden exploded over the weekend and I picked and washed greens straight from the garden, drizzled them with oil and vinegar, smashed a ripe avocado, and consumed a small mountain of sugar snap peas before getting back to work.
Happy. Grateful. Inspired. Tired.
That’s how I feel.
Not quite 100%.
But the journey — well, I’ve learned how priceless it can be. And I’m looking forward to a little more living today.