Back on the balcony, this time at 5:30pm. These summer days on the western edge of of the Eastern Standard Time zone are luxuriously long; the sun is still high in the sky but beginning to veer toward the west, creating familiar sparkles on the surface of the lake and causing me squint at my laptop screen under an umbrella. My dad is dozing in a nearby chair.
Today, my sister and her family took off at mid-day to head home. The almost-4yo has never been a fan of saying good-bye (who is?), and typically when she was younger would start pointedly ignoring you just prior to your departure. You’d ask her a question and she’d give you a hard stare and then go back to whatever she was doing as if you didn’t exist. Understandable.
Today was the first time I saw her acknowledge and manage her feelings a bit. She was mercurial all morning, and then came up to me with wide eyes and a small voice and said, “I’m going to miss you, KK.” Cue my heart breaking. The baby was bursting with smiles going off like fireworks and we all cried in the parking lot as they drove away.
Now that the little people are gone, we’ll segue into more big people activities like watching movies and swearing and hiking and reading. We made a trip to the library this afternoon to drop off all the kids books and pick up more books than I can possibly read between now and Thursday, especially since I’m working from here M-W, but the idea is to continue to relax and keep the work integrated with lots of sunshine and cool breezes.
It occurred to me yesterday that I always keep a countdown clock in my head while vacationing up here (panicked: how many days left?!), so that the end doesn’t have the chance to sneak up. I love being here and if I could slow down time, I would. I think I noticed this more explicitly because the Vacation Countdown (which makes time speed up) has now merged with the even more relentless Days Past Ovulation Countdown (which makes time slow down), and the latter is winning. Even though I’m having fun, time isn’t flying because I’m in the two week wait! My vacation is actually going slower! Win!
I’m on Day 25, so it’s anyone’s guess what happens next. I’m enough of a veteran now to not even hint at any symptoms since it’s either this or that and we don’t know yet. My intuition says yes, my intuition says no, my intuition says, “Don’t trust your intuition.” But I remain optimistic, because, shoot, why not? (And, no, I apparently haven’t gone back to swearing yet.)
So, the challenge is to be in the moment in the midst of the countdown. Isn’t this always the challenge? My mom and I have pledged to start doing our daily meditation now that the little ones are gone and we’re not just eating up every second of being with them. Meditation always slows things down and reconnects you to you and ensures that you come back from vacation with a true reset.
We just got back from kayaking down the Crystal River, a shallow, winding river with a gentle, almost imperceptible current. When you get your kayak pointed in the right direction, you can close your eyes and all of a sudden you’re hearing the wind in the trees and your parents’ paddles dipping in the water and the buzzing of dragonflies and, for just a moment, you don’t even feel yourself moving forward. That’s me, as much as possible, for the next few days. And always.
Strength and patience to all those waiting!