I'm hungover with longing from a weekend vacation with my family. I am sick and I am tired and our maid didn't show, but I'm nauseous with the "day after's" of too many cups of home brewed love to really care. I want it all back, the dizzying effect of the surf rushing out from beneath my feet, the poolside lunches and the family naps. I want to keep drinking in the awesomeness of my family every day at a speed I can comprehend.
We escaped the insanity of the fine weave of the schedules of five people; the very careful weave that holds us together tightly, like 700 thread count sheets.
I didn't miss lightening fast breakfasts or cold sips of coffee from our weekday hustle.
"Socks on! Socks on! Get your socks on! This is the last time I'm asking!"
The bus rumbles up the street.
"The bus is next door!"
"My lego vehicle isn't done!"
"You're going to miss the bus!"
"Did you brush your teeth?"
"Eat your eggs!"
"I don't like eggs anymore!"
"I need a pink juice! I need it now!"
"Shoes on! Bugspray on! Backpack on!"
"Kiss! Kiss! I didn't give Daddy a kiss! Oh no! I didn't give daaaadyyyyyy a waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa....."
Running up and down the stairs, banging on the sunroom glass.
"Bye Say-am! Bye Daddeee! Kiss! Kiss! Hug! Hug!"
"Daddy's going to be late! Hurry down and give him a hug real quick!"
He always comes back. He always says goodbye knowing he'll have to come back and say goodbye.
"Bye hewie. I love you."
In the wake of each morning, when the door closes and Sam is gone, I wonder how this became our life. I wonder how I could love it all so much, but feel like I'm missing it all as it speeds by so quickly. Crazy slow shutter speed, crazy fast early morning and evening traffic. Somehow I thought they'd all stay home forever. I never thought this far into their childhoods. Just stills of baby feet and baby teeth that have somehow turned into full length action movies: guns, races, transformers, shooters, lasers, girlfriends. What?
I wonder how memories of Sam's childhood will differ from mine. I walked to school, I cross country skied to school. I never rode a bus. Riding a bus was a field trip treat for me in sixth grade, a chance to hold hands with my boyfriend on a dare, sweaty palms and awkward silences. For Sam it is two hours of his day. Two hours of my day. Two hours I want to be a part of, but can't. Two hours of childhood slipping away throughout the streets of a city in India. India. No skis, no snow, no box turtles turning into pets no scuffed toes from absentmindedly kicking curbs.
He rides with big kids, they tell him things and I hope they are all nice and good. He tells me he has a friend who is 10 or 11 he can't remember, "a big boy." He blushes when he admits he has a girlfriend and that that means they are friends forever. I hope they will be, but I know better than that. She's leaving in a few months and I'm not ready for this again. I'm not ready for this yet.
He sees monkey's on street-signs and his bus waits patiently while cows cross the road. I hope he doesn't bring one home someday and ask if we can keep it. I know this is his story and I know it is his to tell, I just can't wait to get my thumbs on the pages.
This weekend they were all mine, all weekend. No beautiful distractions from home. No dishes, laundry, time-outs, errands, grocery shopping, cooking or baths. No buses.
We drove an hour south of us and our driver took the car. He'd pick us up on Monday. We were trapped in a blissful island of not doing.
We slipped through shower spigots like transporters, from the beach to the pool and back again. We pushed two double beds together in one room and threw another mattress on the floor to be together. We slept four to a bed and one to the floor. We ate lunch by the pool and dinner by the bathroom light seeping into the hall. We ate dinner and drank wine one night alone on the bathroom floor. It was so insanely beautiful. We listened to the kids snore and we pulled them close without ever opening our eyes when they woke in the night. We ate long breakfasts of idly and sambar and we might have had french fries with every meal. We all napped together, sun kissed, our hair still wet. We woke up in that giant bed with afternoon light slipping between the blackout shades, still in that sleepy-dreamlike state that I know that heaven will feel like. Together.
We put back on out wet bathing suits and we headed back to the pool, the beach. We held tiny hands as the waves threatened to bury tiny feet and we danced in the waves.
And as hard as I wanted to hold on to every second, photograph every minute I held back, I wanted to remained present. I took just a few images here and there, but my heart was in polaroid images that we could post up on our wall and "remember how fun you guys!?" every day. But, those images came into our lives as quickly as these kids themselves. One night, 9 months, 3 painful hours, 6 years. I always try to hold on too tight. I slipped those little magic images within the pages of my unread book in the sun and slipped back into the pool with my kids. When we returned home, I slipped them back out of the book, on the very same page I left the house on and they had all turned black from the heat of the sun. All, but one.
A friend of mine calls these "God Signs." She swears they're everywhere.
Some things aren't meant to be captured, they are meant to be loved like crazy and then let go.