The nanny called in sick today. For about a half a nanosecond, I thought about trying to get my mom to come watch this kids this morning, then I thought better of it and put my pajamas back on.
I had told Maddie and Riley that we could go to the donut shop this morning; my intention was to take some treats to work to ease the blow of a first-thing-in-the-morning meeting, plus I'm always looking for an excuse to go on a pre-work bike ride. Even though the "need" to bring treats to work had been obviated, we still hopped on the bike—in our pajamas (yoga pants and sweatshirt for me, the out-in-public acceptable version of pajamas)—and got our donuts. Then we came home and put on real clothes and went to the library.
Our closest branch library didn't open 'til noon today, so we drove to a larger outpost and arrived five or so minutes before it opened. Lots of parents, mostly moms, were milling around outside, the bulk of them with little ones who were pre-talkers, emerging walkers, diaper-wearing, dyed-in-the-wool toddlers. I was struck by how old Maddie and Riley were in comparison, so tall, so lean. Our time-killing conversation was about the poster near the library door with information about a teen runaway, light-years away from the meanderings and declarations of "Oops!" from the younger crowd.
Leaves are starting to fall from the trees, and the morning was cool. The smell of the crushed foliage brought me right back to New England. Fall in New England is as glorious as any glossy tourist brochure would have you believe. The slant of the light, the crispness of the air: I don't think I'd felt such a longing for Boston in the year since we'd left as I did in those few minutes in front of the library this morning. I have no doubt that I'm where I'm supposed to be, but when one lives a nomadic life in one's twenties, and when one is blessed (a word I tend not to use, but in this case is entirely appropriate) enough to have a large circle of friends spread all around the globe, there is simply no way to be everywhere one wants to be in any one given moment.
And so in those moments this morning, I wanted to be in Boston, to walk the Minuteman trail with my New England friends, to smell the leaves that are the very definition of autumn. I watched the mothers outside the library today soothe their cranky babies, harkening back to that age with Maddie and Riley, to my need to be out of the house and on some kind of schedule, to my tenuous, coffee-fueled grasp on wakefulness. We are a world away from those days, physically and emotionally. I don't miss those days, but I fiercely miss the people who got me through those days. I want to share with them our life now, not through words, but in person. I want them to see what our life has become, to look forward with us to what we might discover. I want to be in two places at the same time.