My Family

No liquids or gels

It’s early.  It’s 4:36 am eastern standard time as I start this post.  I’ve been up at least an hour…awake another half hour or so longer than that.  I thought I may as well stay up and do some typing…but now that I’m settled in and have checked in on a couple other blogs, I feel the pull of sleep and my eyes want to close.  I suppose I could just type with my eyes shut…forgive me if I doze off though.  I’ll try not to snore.  Or drool on the keypad.

We went to bed early, since we’d have to get up in the wee sma’s…and it just figures that the kids somehow sensed when we’d need to get up and chose to start waking us up a good hour before that.  It started with Julia…I could hear her on the monitor:  restless, moving around in her crib, whimpering a bit, trying to get comfortable and go back to sleep.  I debated about just getting up with her, changing her diaper and getting her some milk, just so she wouldn’t wake up later…but I didn’t want to get out of bed.  So I just lay there, one eye on the clock, chanting "gobacktosleep, gobacktosleep" in my mind.

She did.  And so did I.

And then about a half hour or so later, Alex marched into our room and over to my side of the bed and said "Mommy I don’t want to sleep any more I want to get up and go downstairs."  It was about quarter to 3 at that point.  I said no, it’s the middle of the night, and let him get in bed with us.  Bill had half woken up and whispered hi to Alex, who fell asleep pretty promptly after that.  But Bill and I were awake.  We both tried to sleep, but we knew the alarm would go off soon anyway.  When it did, I hit snooze a couple of times (our clock is set fifteen minutes ahead of the current time…which is silly, I know, but…well…it is.)  Bill got up midway through the second snooze, awake anyway, so why not just get up and start moving.  While he was in the shower, I brought Alex back to his own bed.

Bill packed last night, so all he had to add to the bag were his toothbrush and hair brush.  He’s not even bringing deoderant.  Not that it’s a liquid or a gel, but why bother taking the chance.  And they sell deoderant pretty much everywhere nowadays (haha…predawn joke…not good but it’s all I’ve got at the moment) so he can get some later.

We went downstairs, switched the coffee pot on and I cooked breakfast for him.  An egg sandwich with cheese.  It seems to be the breakfast for early mornings when he is going somewhere without me.  Usually it’s a fishing trip, today it’s a bit longer ride than the trip to Carbunkle pond…

While he sat at the table, yolk dripping from the sandwich onto his plate, Julia woke up.  I knew she would.  At least there was some extra time before we had to leave.  I went upstairs and got her – she was grumpy and wanted to go downstairs, and got pretty angry when I said she couldn’t.  She wanted to go lie on the couch with me.  We haven’t done that in ages, because I needed to break her (and me) of that habit.  But naturally this morning she was pretty set on it. 

"No, Julia.  You can come lie on my bed for a minute, or go back in your crib."

"Want to go downSTAYERS!!!"  Much wailing and gnashing of teeth…I brought her into our bedroom and stood there holding her while she expressed her displeasure.  She said she wanted to go lie on the couch (!!!) and I said no, we can’t, because Calvin is sleeping down there.  This actually made her pause, and even though she continued to be unhappy, she stopped pursuing the couch idea.  She had her Dora the Explorer doll in her hand and flung that to the floor and grunted in anger, and then was pretty quiet after that.  Then, in a different, resigned voice, she said "I go back to my crib."  I asked if she wanted to bring Dora, and she nodded.  I picked Dora up with my foot and carried the two of them back to the kids’ room and placed Julia back in her crib…elephant, Dora, and Herky the Pug beside her.  Turned on her music box/light show (fish swimming) on and said I’d see her in the morning.  And I went back downstairs. 

Bill was sitting in the living room with his coffee.  "I made you some, but I put some sugar in it by mistake."  We sat in the near darkness, silent, sipping coffee and just hanging out.  We could hear a few muffled thumping sounds from the room above – Julia was working her way back to sleep. 

"What time did you want to leave?"

He looked at his watch.  "How about we leave at four?"

We sat in the quiet again…sipping coffee from travel mugs.

A minute or so before four we gathered our things.  He had the carry-on suitcase, the travel mug so he could finish his coffee in the car.  And his itinerary print-out so he could get his tickets.  I slid my feet into sandals and got my keys.  We both looked around the kitchen, like there might be something perched on a counter, waving to us – "don’t forget me!"  But we had everything.  Julia had settled down…Alex was deep asleep, and my sister’s kids were asleep in the basement, on the fold out couch and the air mattress.  If my kids woke up, their cousins could take care of them.  It’s handy having a  babysitter-age nephew and niece.

We went outside.  It’s wonderfully chilly again this morning.  About fifty degrees according to the window thermometer.  It reminds me of being in college in Maine, years ago, when I had an 8:00 class on the Portland campus and had to catch the shuttle bus at 7:30…it was spring semester, which really begins in the middle of winter.  It was dark at that hour, and quiet, and cold.  Certainly colder than fifty degrees – sometimes my wet hair would freeze while I waited for the bus.  I was stupid back then too, and wore a secondhand black blazer as a winter coat.  It was not lined.  I’d get on the bus and sit down and feel the frozen strands of my long, straight hair push up as I leaned back against the seat.  It was a strange sensation. 

It wasn’t quite so cold this morning, of course.  But so quiet.  The car doors seemed so loud, I figured Julia and Alex would both be awake and running around the house by the time I got back.

We don’t live far from the airport.  It’s good and bad.  I wouldn’t have a long ride back home after dropping Bill off…but we got to the departure gates much too fast.

I don’t like goodbyes.  Even just "goodbye, have fun visiting your brother, see you soon" goodbyes.  I have such an overactive imagination as it is.  And thwarted exploding airplane terrorist stuff doesn’t help.  Even before September 11th, I was not completely nuts about flying.  I have flown, and in some ways I love it, but I sort of have to disconnect the part of my brain that screams "you’re way way up high in the air!!!!!!  What if the engines fail?  What if?????" 

But anyway.  We flew to Florida just about a year ago – with both kids.  Julia’s need for constant attention kept my mind off any other disasters that might occur.  Kids are good like that – they keep you in the now.  No time for paying attention to anything your brain might be working on.

It was quiet – not a lot of other people being dropped off.  It’s a drive-by drop off.  Unless I wanted to pay for parking and hang out for nearly two hours with Bill while he waited for his flight to take off.  And I couldn’t leave all the kids in the house that long, even though they’d probably stay asleep the whole time.  Because what if the house caught fire or something. 

So I pulled in near the curb, (kerb?  is that the Brit spelling?) and we said goodbye and I love you and I said have fun and he got his bag out of the back seat and walked away.  He waved once, and I had to leave, because if you linger too long, the airport police will come over and tell you to move.

I drove home.  The whole thing – to and from – had taken fifteen minutes.  I got my coffee and my laptop and went upstairs. 

And there.  I’ve written it all out.  Just to get it out of my mind, I guess, so I won’t dwell on it. 

I wouldn’t make a good military wife.  But maybe I’m selling myself short.  I guess you do what you have to do.  And besides, I’ll have work and the kids to keep me busy and distracted while he’s gone.  I am not a weeping and wailing kind of worrier.  It’s more a quiet, high-pitched humming sound in the back of my mind.  It’s there, but I work around it.

So Bill is bound for Washington state to visit his brother.  It’s 5:19 now.  He probably isn’t on the plane yet.  He will call once he gets to his brother’s house.  I’ll check on the flights occasionally, just to see if everything is running on time.

There is no great big point to this post…just that I hate goodbyes.  But I already said that, didn’t I. 

I can’t wait to pick him up at the airport next week.  I’ll be able to exhale.  And the humming will stop.

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