This is my 200th post.
Alas, I cannot bring myself to imbue it with the spirit of celebration I had planned. I am sad. My Aunt was in town visiting us from Rochester, NY, this week. A dear, dear aunt, who made my baby quilt, and 30 years later made one for Ben and Clara as well. Who has opened her home many times to invasions of nieces and nephews and slews of little cousins to sleep on sofas and beds, in tents in the yard and on pallets on the floor while forgoing her own sleep to make cookies and breakfasts and do load after load of laundry. Who showed up at my house this week with boxes of my favorite chocolates and gifts for the kids.
Our visit was uneventful. A day spent with the family at a park. An afternoon at the mall picking out shoes for Clara. A visit to my favorite local sandwich shop. And lots of time spent at home with the kids. Or in the kitchen, graciously observing my bumbling attempts at hostessing, while laughing at memories of her last visit when I barely had a knife to chop my vegetables with.
Her last visit...when she came to meet a downy haired, irritable, tiny plucked chicken of a baby boy. The same now-almost-four-year-old who met her again this week and fell, unabashedly, in love with her. Relentless in his desire just to be near her, to impress her, to talk to her and snuggle with her. And who, today when - after dropping her off at the monstrosity of the Atlanta airport - I returned without her, wept; wailing in confusion and despair that "people who are part of our family should stay with us forever!"
And so we had a talk about people we love, like Grandmas and cousins, and favorite aunts, who are part of our family, but live other places. But in my heart I felt as he did. That NY is just too far away for someone we love so much. And four years is a lifetime. I have visited her twice during that period, once alone and once with Allison, but the means to purchase 5 or 6 airline tickets to NY has been beyond us. And I have been unable to muster the fortitude to drive there with toddlers and babies in tow. And so I know that the next time he sees her he will likely be a long legged elementary schooler who may not remember her, this visit, or his fleeting love affair at all. And for that reason, I found myself in tears tonight as well. And wishing that I could, even just occasionally, fold up the distances between us so we could step across.
And in a luckless accident this weekend, my brother fell and broke his leg in several places. Requiring five screws, a slew of painkillers and a two night stay at the hospital. And while he does live close and I have called him several times, I haven't seen him or even actually spoken to him yet. We have, despite growing up in the same home, taken different routes in life. There are no hard feelings between us that I am aware of but, with my life as a stay-at-home-mom and his single and carefree, there seems to be a chasm fueled by different lifestyles that I have been unable to ford. I am worried about him, but I know that when we finally do speak, it will be full of civilities and artifice that should not come with someone you have known since birth. And I hate it.
And I feel tonight as if things are all broken and mixed up and not the way they should be at all. I am wallowing in melancholy that I cannot not rearrange the circumstances of my life to my liking. So, I am putting aside the 200th post celebration/givaway I have planned until tomorrow. And my 201st post. So please forgive me this self-indulgence. It is, after all, the thing that blogging is most often about anyway.