I haven't posted for a week. No, I didn't have the flu like just about everyone I know (I've been washing my hands every 15 minutes).
I've been out of town. My kids had last week off school, a relatively new holiday week called Ski Week. Sadly, it is not called Hawaii Week, at least not in my family.
This last week of vacation had me thinking of the past more than a few times. It started with a visit to my husband's sister and her family in the Seattle area.
I watched my sister-in-law in the role of potty trainer and human Kleenex. I forgot about that stage when a child finds it much more convenient to wipe their nose on a parent passing by rather than locate a tissue. My niece and nephew shared toys, basketballs, bikes, the fish Gloria and Crystal, a computer, scatological humor (I forgot how irritating this can be to a parent), a family birthday party at the bowling alley, and especially a drum set with their cousins. The neighbors amazingly did not come over at 7:00 am (or 8 or 9 or 10 . . .) to complain about loud drum playing. My mother-in-law made for her son (my husband) his favorite comfort food meatloaf, my brother-in-law served me kona coffee, a glass of wine and stayed up late to talk. My father-in-law took eleven people out to a wonderful dinner because one grandson (my youngest) wanted to share a bucket of clams with him.
A great visit with family: one that leaves you wishing there was just a bit more time, even though several people were falling victim to a bad cold/flu and the kids left socks laying all around the house and the practice-pads for the drums kept getting lost.
After the visit to my husband's family, we parted ways. My husband and boys got on a plane to Jackson Hole Wyoming for the ski part of Ski Week, and I got on a plane to visit my very good friend who lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico. There was a very touching moment at the airport, when I said goodbye to my boys, that my middle son got teary-eyed and gave me a hug that squeezed just a bit more than usual. For the first time, I wasn't joining the ski trip as the snow-fearing non-skier, I was able to go on my own adventure. How nice to know that I'd be missed just a little.
My friend in New Mexico has a red-haired toddler and is pregnant with her second child. Staying with a 19 month old, I was reminded how much the day rotates around and is consumed by feeding a toddler, an almost constant activity. I forgot about the joy of spinning in a circle or chasing a ballon around the house just for the fun of it. I was lucky enough to be able to go to an ultrasound appointment with my friend and get a sneak peak at her little boy before he is born. Why is it that I was pregnant three times, and it really wasn't that long ago, and I can't clearly remember exactly how it felt and the thoughts and emotions that went through my head? It was a state that I wish I enjoyed more at the time.
Wait a minute, now I remember why I didn't enjoy it. Oh that's right. I felt terrible and threw up at least once a day for months on end.
A souvenir of my ski week trip: A Magic Matchbox Shrine with the image of a drum. Inside it contains two worry dolls, healing dirt from New Mexico, turquoise for protection, and an Anasazi bean for strength and wisdom. It brings blessings and good luck. I'm going to send this to my sister-in-law.
Then another reminder of the past, even further back. I had recently run into a friend from high school, one I've not seen or been in contact with for more than twenty years. She happens to live in Santa Fe, so while I was in New Mexico I was able to meet with her and catch up. Memories of high school are fuzzy for both of us, but we agreed that it was really OK because high school sucked. We are both much more interesting people now.
It's not easy to remember to enjoy where you are right now. Sometimes looking into the past can make you ever much more thankful for the present you are living in the moment.
Unless you have the flu. Got to go wash my hands.