26 September 2007

Sun and moon

...all through the night...

I need to rediscover the shape of my days, or perhaps more accurately, reshape my days. So much travel, so much disruption, too much fun, and now it's time to resettle. I am finished--for now--with looking for airfares and airports, and hotels that don't have bedbugs but are close to where I need to be, and with wondering how many frequent flyer miles I have left, and where the hell is Bonner Springs, anyway?

This morning, I woke a little after 3 a.m. and spent the next two hours trying to coerce myself back to sleep. Unsuccessful, I finally got out of bed at 5:30, thinking I'd make scones for breakfast (no eggs though, so no scones...hmm, a bit of grocery shopping would seem to be in order), chatting with the cat who was asking in a sweet tone for breakfast, turning on the coffee and admiring the huge moon hanging in the west.

If such things interest you, tonight is the full moon, which also happens to be the Harvest Moon.

The son wandered out, wondering what I was doing up, and I sent him away. The spouse wandered out, wondering what I was doing up and no doubt hoping for scones, and I banished him to the exercise bike. I was already irritable with lack of sleep and eggs, and didn't really want to talk to anyone.

When I have been away, and in most cases, I'm away for barely 24 hours and rarely, about 36, my family becomes enormously clingy. They have to touch me, as if to reassure themselves that I am not really in Canada, Colorado or Chicago. The daughter, who returned safely from Catalina last Friday despite Storm of the Century prognostications, was in high dudgeon because I wasn't here when she got back.

"Can't you just sell your Toronto ticket?" she suggested sweetly a few days before she left.

"No," I told her, remembering what we'd gone through five months earlier just to get those tickets.

"I'm very resentful," she said with a squint.

"Tough," I told, her and kissed her goodnight, cheerfully.

I remember the birth of the son, and the huge sea change that took place, the morphing of self into mother, feeling much as I did when I married that I'd lost a huge chunk of self, my individuality, and a great deal of my freedom. When the daughter reached something akin to the age of reason five or so years ago, I discovered that nothing had really been lost. Possibly, I had been temporarily misplaced, or left in the lost luggage bin, but the essential me was ready to reappear. As it turned out, it was all a matter of timing.

I have to remind myself that periodically running away from home actually makes me a better mother. I am neither irresponsible nor do I shirk my duties (ok, I still haven't bought a dishwasher but, well, I still have to buy a dishwasher), though my children, master manipulators that they are, will try to ensure that I feel unbelievably guilty. The spouse, not so much, though he mentions wistfully that I am the sun around which they all, including the cat, orbit, and that when the sun disappears, everything tends to spin a bit out of control.

That, my darlings, is known as night. The sun vanishes over the horizon to go shine somewhere else for a few hours. We take it on faith and experience that the sun always comes back in the morning.

And so do I.

Go listen to some good music: "Sun and Moon" from the album Mania by The Lucy