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Surrounded……

July 24, 2009

This summer has not lent itself well to me writing very often. Thank you so much to those of you have mentioned you missed reading my words – I have missed writing them too. But, I have been soaking in every second of being home and being surrounded by dear friends and family. Priorities have shifted to just being home. To just living in the moment. To just BEING here. We have not been busied with our usual camps and teams and wild distractions. It’s been playdates and sleepovers and happy hours and just sitting on the front porch. It’s been blue skies and shredded cheese and tomato sandwiches. It’s been scratchy cat kisses from our little cat Queso who really cannot travel across oceans to live with us.

As we get close to our time to leave again, we have been blessed with many opportunities to celebrate the amazing people in our lives. Activities have taken a back seat. Writing, unfortunately, has too.

Last week, I missed a family reunion. One that only happens every three years. I was just too tired to solo parent an 8 hour drive – twice – in three days.  I finally am getting it that you can’t do everything – you don’t have to be everywhere. It was the right decision not to go, but I hated not seeing some wonderful people who are surely very busy too.

At the reunion, we always go to a family church for a service. There is a tombstone there that marks the grave of my grandfather. A man who died when my father was 2 months old. That in some ways makes him larger than life. A mystery. He also shares my brother’s name. It is a surreal experience to stand at his grave with my brother’s name. I can’t explain why that is special to me but it is. Maybe because the past connects to the present between two people who share blood and names but have never met.

This past week has been exceptionally busy. We started off with a visit from Gram, my mom. I treasured every story, every minute of her time here. It will be too long before I see her again. India has taken some of our phone conversations from us – but we fall back into the rhythm quickly. She used to teach psychology and I will forever be her case study. She lets me vent and dislikes the same annoyances in people that I do. She isn’t a big fan of anyone who ticks me off – what is not to love!

Then I went downtown with a group of friends for an impromptu girls night out in Washington, DC. Funny enough, as we were walking near Dupont Circle, we walked past a statue of Ghandi. That brought it all briefly full circle. Now, I am in DC with some of my favorite women in the world standing in front of a Ghandi memorial. And no, I did not have my camera. I know, I know. Damn it.

Another dear, dear friend of mine stopped by and talked to me while I was getting ready. I felt like I was in a cartoon. She picked out my clothes and my shoes and sent me on my way to a night on the town. Just like when we were in college. I miss her already.

Next was a cake decorating extravaganza. One of my favorite moms invited some girls over to ice and re-ice cakes. She made over 20 pounds of buttercream icing and whipped up memories the girls will never forget. Besides the pound and a half of icing that found its way into my mouth, the girls iced 12 cakes beautifully. Good times and messy floors.

Those cakes made it across the street the next night for the neighborhood countdown party. We all refused to call it a goodbye – but a countdown until the day we return. It truly took me by surprise the number of people who came bearing hugs, well wishes, and yummy salads – and of course, beautiful cakes. I sat watching everyone talk and laugh and the kids play. I cannot even begin to tell you how much I will miss being home. It sounds so trite, but there really are no words.

Last night was soup at Panera with two other friends. We talked and laughed and counseled each other for hours over bread bowls. It was comfort food mixed with comfort company and I had a hard time leaving.

But, I did have to leave because my number one hubby was at home with a housefull of sleepover friends. He managed the party quite well without me and had already served up the ice cream sundaes before I got home. He has mad sleepover skills.

This afternoon I went to see my college friends for a dip in the pool. One of our friends lives in an oasis of tranquility and every year she graciously invites us to come over and lounge and dip our toes in her pool. She treated us to a scrumptious lunch and a super relaxed afternoon. Talk about a deep cleansing breath. Ahhhhh.

Then tonight my brother and sister-in-law came over to hang out at the pool for one last visit. We ordered pizza and sat in the shade while the kids splashed and kicked.

It has been a fabulous week mixed with friendship and sadness and anticipation. I will be writing again soon because it won’t be long before we head out east to continue our journey.

Until then, I am hugging twice as hard and kissing twice as much and am already beginning to miss being home. I am surrounded by people who love my family and I know that bubble will travel back with us again to India, it just won’t be as easy to see in the distance.

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. July 29, 2009 12:38 pm

    Aw … this was hard to read. I know how hard it must be to leave (no, I don’t … it has to be harder the second time around …) … but I’m glad you’re protecting that time and just being … that’s what memories are made of.

    Looking forward to meeting you in less than a week!

  2. July 27, 2009 1:12 pm

    We’ll be here when you are.

  3. July 26, 2009 11:02 am

    I’ve missed you, but I knew you were busy having fun with your friends and family. You’ve been really busy! Good for you.

  4. July 25, 2009 8:09 am

    We missed our hugs and kisses under the trees even if we do understand why you couldn’t make the drive!

  5. July 25, 2009 6:19 am

    Sounds like you are doing exactly what you should be: Making the most of the time you have with the people that make you feel the most at home.

    Don’t worry about us. We’ll miss you, yes, but if its because you’re off spending time with family you won’t get to see for an extended period of it, it’ll be worth the wait to “see” you again.

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