10 January 2008

Leaving on a Jet Plane (again)

I'm off to my grandfather's memorial tomorrow. The service itself is on Sunday, in my grandfather's hometown in the southwest corner of Missouri. I have to fly to Tulsa, OK, where I'll meet my dad, then we'll drive the 1.5 hours to the small Oklahoma town where many of his cousins and other extended family still live. There are no direct flights from Boston to Tulsa, so even with the time change in my favor and a short layover, a 12:30 p.m. departure is getting me to Oklahoma around 5:00 p.m. We'll go to the memorial on Saturday morning, tour Daddy Gene's hometown in the afternoon, then have a big family dinner in the evening. I'm on a 7:00 a.m. flight on Sunday that will get me into Boston around 1:00 p.m. Quick trip.

I'm dropping the babies off with friends tomorrow morning. Brave friends. They have twins of their own, six months older than Maddie and Riley. The kids know each other as well as kids of this age can, and, in fact, Maddie and Riley often asked for these friends when we were in Oregon. The kids are all more-or-less on the same schedule, so while it will be lots more work for my friends than their usual two, it will be as easy as it can be for everyone. I think. I hope. I'm so grateful to my friends for being willing to take the kids and make it possible for me to go to the memorial.

Frankly, there's a lot to look forward to about the memorial. Of course I'm sad to lose my grandfather. But I haven't been to his hometown—the town my dad grew up in, too—since I was in high school (?). And all of my first cousins will be in attendance, the first time we've all been together since my grandparents' 50th wedding anniversary many, many years ago. In that time, we've become adults. Many of us have married, and the youngest of us is in college. Two of us (three if you count one by marriage) have completed service in the Peace Corps. Two of us have kids. It will be nice to catch up, and nice for me to be able to concentrate on catching up rather than focusing all of my attention on Maddie and Riley. I'm sorry that M&R won't get to meet all of this family, but at their age it wouldn't mean anything to them anyway, and the trip would be a huge hassle for me with them in tow.

Instead of a hassle, this trip will be a bit of a luxury. For the first time that I can remember, I'm thrilled that I'll be trapped on an airplane for hours. I decided against bringing my laptop or a portable DVD player. Instead, I have a book, a journal, and some Sudoku puzzles. My phone will be off, I'm going to get a big ol' latte before I board, and maybe I'll even take a nap. I'm going to brainstorm some writing ideas (blog and other), and just relax. I don't do well at creating that kind of time for myself, but when it is forced upon me, I'm very good at maximizing it.

This will be the most time I've spent away from the kids since they've been born. This feels like the right age and developmental stage to me for us to be apart for this long. I know Maddie and Riley will be fine. I hope my friends are still speaking to me when I get back.

*********************************
I took the Monday after the memorial off for some recovery time. As it would happen, I got a call for a job interview earlier that week that I managed to schedule for Monday afternoon. No rest for the wicked, that's for sure.

24 comments:

peach said...

have a safe trip. My father's family is from the south west corner of missouri and i love getting to visit there. such beautiful country.
Hugs Laura ~Peach~

Aimee said...

I'm sorry that you're going back to your roots under these circumstances. I do, however, hope that you can really enjoy your family and your time away from the babies.

I used to fly to/from Tulsa quite often (attended college there) and have family in Strafford, MO. I miss that part of the world sometimes.

The kiddos will be fine. It's good for THEM to be away from you, too! You're buidling independence in them by going away.

Please let us know how it goes. And please accept my condolances.

Kathryn said...

Travel safely, enjoy the reunions - a lovely farewell gift from your grandfather - and you're in my prayers for the Monday interview.

Lala said...

so much good mixed up with the bad. I'm all for free time and I hope the job interview goes well. I hope the twins are angels for your friends. I hope your grandfather is an angel too. Take care.

Rev Dr Mom said...

Hope the trip goes well.

halfmama said...

Hope your trip goes well, albeit under less-than-happy circumstances, and hope you have a nice, relaxing flight. And good luck on your interview!

Keen said...

Yay for your friends! I'm sure all of the adults and kids will be fine, and they'll probably even have some fun.

There's nothing like flying with twins to make you appreciate flying by yourself. I find that when I travel for work I can deal with delays and flight cancellations much better than I used to--all I have to do is imagine I've got the kids with me and any annoyance I feel disappears. More me time!

Hope you have a good weekend, and good luck with the interview! No rest for the wicked, indeed.

django's mommy said...

Safe travels!!

I just went up to Boston for New Year's and left my little guy in NC with my sister. The plane rides were HEAVENLY- just reading, drinking coffee, and doing crosswords when I got bored of reading. Ahhhhh.

winecat said...

Sorry about your grandfather but i'm very impressed that you've decided to embrace the time away as your own.

Good luck with the job interview on Monday.

Amelie said...

May your trip be as good as it can in this situation. I'm sorry 2007 was so hard on you.
It's great to have friends that can take care of your kids.

mommo4.5 said...

I have lived across the continent from my parents for 27 years - I in Ontario, my parents in Seattle. Because of the cost of flying I have often gone to visit Seattle without the family. When my children were young I very much looked forward to those eight hour trips with only myself to be concerned about. I would pack a book and some crossword puzzles and hope my seatmate wasn't chatty!

I hope you have a wonderful time with your extended family, remembering your grandfather together and catching up.

Angela said...

Woohoo! Time to yourself on the plane to actually read and enjoy and latte, so envious. I hope you have a safe trip and the memorial goes well and have fun going down memory lane with the cousins.

mlg said...

This sounds great! I am so glad you are giving yourself this trip. Relax, enjoy yourselfs. Rest up, prepare for the interview. I am sorry that your grandfather passed, but the memorial will be full of people who loved him and you can all share great memories. I will be hoping for you to soak up all the good energy possible to make your fresh and positive for your interview Monday.

Anonymous said...

Breaks from the kids is a GOOD thing. Hope you had some downtime to relax and rejuvenate.

So sorry about your Grandfather of course.. Hopefully a life well lived.

Not the ideal situation for an escape but hope you enjoyed some of it just the same. As a mom of twins (and their older brother) who has a hubby who works out of town I have SOME comprehension of what you are going through. No, hubby still with us but sometimes gone so long I wonder...

liz said...

Safe trip and good luck with the interview!

Melanie said...

Isn't it going to seem quiet travelling without the kids? Ahhhhh... So sorry for your loss, and I hope you have a lovely reunion with your family.

buddha_girl said...

Oooooh I am so glad that your friends are taking good care of your kids while you're communing with your family and celebrating your grandfather's life

I think the time on the plane will be akin to winning the lottery! Let us know how the job interview treats ya!

Julia said...

I hope the weekend worked out just as you hoped it would. The airplane oasis description is particularly appetizing, I have to say.

And best of luck on the interview.

Anonymous said...

I'm glad you were able to join your family for this time.

Good luck with the interview. Is if for a job on the other coast?

Kathleen

Jamie said...

Greetings from the Pacific NW. I just found your blog tonight; spent an entire evening reading about your last year and a half. I cried, I laughed. You are an amazing writer. I'm so sorry for the losses you've suffered ~ thank you for the brutal honesty in your posts. Consider me a new faithful reader.

Elaine said...

Good luck with the interview! 2008 seems to be a year for transitions...I myself had a job interview last week, unfortunately it was after work finished at my current job and I was a bit scattered (am also moving next week). Wishing you much, much better luck!!

OTRgirl said...

My grandmother's funeral was a lot of fun for those exact reasons. I love my extended family and hadn't seen most of my cousins in years.

I hope it was wonderful and relaxing. Good luck on the interview!!

Sylvie said...

Hope you had a good trip, and good luck w/ the interview.

Mama Nabi said...

Hope your trip was good... as good as such a trip can be. Hope the twins didn't miss mommy too much (or the mommy missing twins too much...)...
How did the interview go?