Thursday, March 25, 2010

Tighter, Closer, Sweeter

It's nice, isn't it, to buy American money lately? Friday, I bought 200 US dollars for $207 Canadian. Miracle! I tucked the oddly shaped green bills into my wallet and double-checked my passport in my laptop bag. Slinging my lovely, soft-brown leather weekend bag over my shoulder, I started up my podcast, slipped on my sunglasses and boarded the bus.

Off to a meeting point with out-of-town colleagues and friends, heading down the highway for a conference in the US! A weekend of computer dork un-conferencing, hotel room to myself, drink ticket in my registration package, an id tag with a QR code and my (work) Twitter handle. Sunshine and passports and networking. Blessed focus on my intellectual life. The freedom of throwing myself into it, totally! The freedom of that one little bag, the foreign currency, walking through someone else's historic district on my own time, my own dime.


But this?

I missed it like I never thought I could. Gone for, what? About 52 hours? I felt an ache for my Munchkin like I never felt when she was smaller. I guess that's what's so surprising. "Mom!" she yelled over the phone, "When can I come to Michigan?"

To break my heart, I tell you.

I used to make fun of these people, these mothers or lovers off on fantastic adventures, moaning and crying and pining for the absent objects of their affection. I mocked them: how on Earth can you be missing your Real Life when you have this sanctioned brief escape? My god, it's two days, sheesh louise you see your kid / your partner / your dog every day your entire life, enjoy the novelty of the now.


Adulthood, I think, is the capacity to experience conflicting realities, simultaneously. Or maybe it's just a condition of motherhood: one of the hallmarks of my pregnancy was this odd thing where if I laughed--really laughed, a good lose-my-breath belly laugh--inevitably it ended in heartrending sobs. But oh, what a ride!

I feel like I live like that quite a lot now. Begin as you mean to go on, Mimi!


Jenifer said...

I think you nailed it, the last paragraph says it all. I love the ponytails and rain boots, that is exactly my house lately!

Marie said...

Every other weekend when my little ones went to their dad's house, I'd ache for them as I tried to get stuff done or enjoy myself without kids. Buggers!

Omaha Mama said...

Oh. Yes. My favorite place to be is at home. I miss them so when away. You've worded it perfectly here.

ewe are here said...

I used to silently make fun of those people, too ... now I am one.

Adulthood is indeed a funny thing.

Cloud said...

Yes. This is exactly right.

I have been pondering recently about how I have become THAT woman in so many ways. You know, the one I used to look at and think "I'll never be like that".


Kyla said...

What shape are your bills?

Yeah, once they become their own little people, it is
much easier to miss them!

Mimi said...

Teehee, Kyla! Ours are rectangles, too, but yours are longer and shorter than our bills, so they don't line up right in my wallet.

kittenpie said...

I find it's fine when you are in the whirl of other things, but going to bed at night without kissed your babies once all day seems so... lonely.

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WarsawMommy said...

Uh-huh. You got it in one: I LONG for days away from the kiddies, but then when I get those days, I spend all my time thinking about them, wondering how they are, wanting to call to check on them.

Parenthood: we carry our kids in our hearts and across our shoulders all the time. Even when we aren't there with them, they're there with us.

No escape... but then again, I don't really want to.

Beck said...

True story: until this winter, I have never VOLUNTARILY been away from my kids. They've been away from ME, but I've never left them unless I was having a baby or a nasty bout of sepsis.

And it felt GOOD to be away. Granted, I was only a ten minute walk away, BUT STILL.

I don't think I could stand to go to another CITY, though. I would be petrified the whole time that something would happen to The Baby, who HAS things happen to her.