Tori's Blog

Travel Adventures Before 7:30 a.m.

Monday, August 1st, 2011

Yesterday, I was asked, “ Why do people who aren’t pregnant read your blog? ” I answered that I honestly wasn’t actually sure. Yes, I do try to write about something related to pregnancy or parenting at least part of the time. But so much is also about the tiny, everyday fibers of my own little Whosville.  For whatever reason, I see the fabric of what might look “ordinary” as being beautiful, tragic, magical and infinitesimally funny. I suspect that secretly there are others out there who agree. And ultimately all of it ends up here. Or in a talk. Or in the next book. Hint hint.

This is the time of year that my blog historically gets a bit disjointed. Partly because I spend more time in an area of Western Michigan where Wi-Fi is NEVER going to get to my end of the beach. I suspect the North shore of the Alaskan oil field has better Internet connectivity.  The satellite Internet we have at the house is the most ridiculous thing. A storm knocks out power and phone with little trouble. And I learned last week that downloading the NHL Stanley Cup championships for Alexander from iTunes put us over our “fair usage” amount by 500%. The company tried to penalize us by shutting down our virtual access to the outside world for 48 hours. Ugh.

But mostly it is because this is my solid time with Alexander, and quite frankly, myself. Being on the water, reading cheesy beach books in the sun, playing cards with him the Midwestern way (a card laid IS a card played), watching the most amazing thunderstorms come across the lake and moving delightfully slowly with the family and friends that we don’t see nearly enough creates a space that helps both of us maneuver throughout the rest of the year.

This is the 20th summer that I have spent some combination of June, July or August here without shoes on. And although the circumstances have changed enormously and I did not find this paradise myself, I deeply appreciate what a gift it is to have this space and this time. Although some less evolved souls may pre-suppose this to be a vacation, it isn’t even close. It is a huge piece of Alexander’s childhood and it is the only place I have ever been able to find enough sustained quiet to hear all the important “stuff” that nests in my corners.

As I sit on the plane now, having made this same, very long, trip twice in the last 2 weeks, I am grinning at the number of stories I have shared about the adventures that seem to happen during what should be simple travel.  Whether it be to the wrong airport, the really wrong part of town, flying two 80 pound Labradors, needing to stay “in costume” on the 3 day Gold Rush school field trip due to leaving my suitcase on the side of the driveway, or perhaps last summer’s near arrest when I behaved very badly with the TSA agent who had the nerve to declare Alexander’s Lacrosse stick a potential weapon. Possibly my “worst mommy/best mama bear” moment EVER. Yikes.

This morning did not disappoint. Long travel on Friday, 2 full days of love, celebration and serious festivities over the weekend, very little sleep, all day drive yesterday, 3 time zones, home for 12 hours, a 3am “gift” from Lucy the cat (she missed me)… You get the picture.

Somehow I missed both alarms and woke to the cab driver knocking at the front door. “Oh no! Give me 5 minutes!” A 60-second shower, no coffee, hair comb, contacts or mascara. Once the cab was driving, I realized that my phone was still at the house — had to go back. We watched the airporter drive off so the cabbie chased it down 101 and honked and we stopped at what I am not sure was even an official stop. I scrambled my cash together, got on, hardly able to see out of my glasses, and sat down in the front seat — rather embarrassed by my entrance.

Ah. But it was in the moment of sitting down that the cartoon morning appeared to end. I took in a breath. And another one.  And during the all too brief, 40 minute ride, I was overcome with feeling such comfort and calm. Quiet, in a really lovely way. Frankly, it startled me. And in a personally amusing, schizophrenic, rapid-fire, private moment, I surprised myself. I didn’t shut it down. And surprising myself might just be a really good thing. I find myself hoping so. How about that? All before 7:30 a.m.

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