No pictures today. No recipes, no gardening tips, no museum outings. I’m just sitting here with my thoughts – and thought I’d share them here with you.
I took Chelsea to the airport last night – she left for Paris for a month-long study abroad program with her university. We’d been planning and preparing for this trip for many months, yet in a flash it seemed like I was hugging and kissing her good-bye, leaving her in a sea of other long-haired, fashionable young women.
I’ve always found it a little creepy being in an airport at night. So this didn’t help my frame of mind as I walked back to my car alone. I’m usually pretty adept at assessing my emotions but I can only describe how I felt as numb. Fuzzy. Disconnected.
And then, on the drive home, this song came on. And I was instantly transported to the months that Chelsea and I spent, almost four years ago, taking road trips to visit the colleges she was considering applying to. I had just found out (much to my surprise) that I was pregnant. Having a 16 and 11-year-old at the time (and with absolutely no intentions of having a third), I was still reeling from this news, and would continue to be for many months. But for now, I had to focus on these visits and the pursuant application process. Chelsea needed me.
One of our most memorable trips was to a college in a small, rural town in Pennsylvania. We spent a few days there so that Chelsea could attend the open house and sit in on a class or two. As the nearest shopping and restaurants were a good 20-30 minute car ride from our hotel, we spent a lot of time in the car. We were quite obsessed with the movie “Juno” (which, unbeknownst to Chelsea, was having particular meaning for me), and played the soundtrack incessantly. When “All the Young Dudes” would come on we would blast it and sing at the top of our lungs. We also spent a lot of our time together talking about her hopes and dreams for her college experience, and in particular, her wish to study abroad.
And now here she was, about to embark on that very experience we talked about, what seemed like an eternity ago.
The song snapped me out of my fog – I turned up the volume and sang at the top of my lungs.
When I came home I found it hard to get out of the car, as if I was going to lose the moment somehow. But I did. And there was Noah – covered with tomato sauce and telling me he missed me (I was gone for all of three hours). I gave him a big hug and looked at him, marvelling at the fact that he had no clue (or care) of what I was feeling.
He needed me.