We just got back from a week visiting my parents in my hometown. It was relaxing, except for L's sleep disintegration which still hasn't resolved, and has me exhausted & sucking down coffee (OK, so maybe staying up past midnight reading wasn't the best idea, since he got up at 4:30 this morning...but my new Kindle...so easy to hold...and The Hunger Games...so ADDICTIVE!). So this post is kind of disjointed, I hope it makes sense to someone!
It is always weird going back to your childhood home as an adult. The town has grown so much that it is hardly recognizable, except for the parts that are exactly the same. Similarly with the house---many things are new or gone, but so much is completely unchanged. It stirs in me equal parts nostalgia and bewilderment.
Spending time with my parents is also a mixed experience, in that I find myself slipping back into my role as a child, groaning and snapping at them, and expecting to be somewhat cared for in their capable hands. Yet, while still quite healthy (and not OLD, they are in their mid-late 60s) they are slowing down slightly. The house isn't as sparkling clean as it used to be, they are walking slower, things are taking longer. What is going to happen 5 years from now? 10? I can't bear to think about it.
All parents know that vacationing with kids can be challenging. It was nice to have uninterrupted time with them, but off their routines they were cranky and difficult. We still had to do all the parenting things that had to be done. Activities my parents planned excitedly for B sometimes went disastrously, due to his fickle moods. He was surly at the zoo, & asked to leave, then wanted to go back every day and still talks about it. Who knows the mind of a toddler?!
While there, I saw 2 of my childhood friends that came down to visit (from the big city they live in, a couple of hours away). Both of these friends are single, working in demanding careers, and living alone. I know for an absolute certainty that both want (ed) to marry & have children, but now they are in their mid-30s with no immediate dating prospects, and I feel that they have given up those dreams. I may be biased, since they are my friends, but these are attractive, intelligent, fun women who would make awesome wives & mothers. Of course, I can't really talk to them about this issue---I just don't
know how to broach it without highlighting the fact that I have what
they do not. It makes me really sad to think their dreams may never be realized, and grateful to the universe that I met G when I did, or my fate could well be very different.
G & I talked about this a bit...how our lives are chaotic and exhausting right now, but we chose this path & we are so so lucky to have had those choices. You may see a single person, or a childless couple, and envy their freedom & respect their choices, but maybe they were never allowed to make a choice at all.
In summary, it was a week of mixed emotions...of simultaneously seeing my past, present, and future, and reflecting on what might have been. And it sucked to go back to work.