This past week was a blur. It was Hot Nerd’s birthday. It was little Meatball’s first birthday. My folks were in town. His folks were in town. It was a week long family mash up of love, and only now am I catching a breath.
My folks surprised me by flying in from Hawaii… then hiding behind a corner outside my garage and jumping out at me.
Hot In-Laws came from Florida as planned… with gifts and stories and lots of energy.
We laughed a lot. We tried to organize. We failed at organizing. We talked over each other. We took two cars everywhere. We ate a whole hell of a lot.
We took a road trip to where we will be living in a few months.
We went to an event at Knott’s Berry Farm and overdosed on fun.
My four year old bounced off the walls and put on “look at me” shows for everyone.
My newly one year old squealed a lot, missed naps, and learned how to clap his hands.
We ate boiled seafood with our hands.
Nana came every morning bearing cups filled with stolen individual coffee creamers from their hotel.
PoPo (Chinese for grandma) handed me secret money to buy the boys things they needed like socks, underwear, and shoes.
I was able to shower… by myself.
My two boys were the stars of the show… all iPhones were unholstered and at the ready.
We played pass the baby.
We played chase the baby.
We played “don’t let the baby eat that.”
We caught up on mini slices of each other’s lives.
PaPa read bedtime stories.
PoPo fed the baby.
Nana played a “world record” slide game.
Gung Gung (Chinese for grandpa) held hands and bought cupcakes.
Then Nana and PaPa were gone.
Then PoPo and Gung Gung were gone.
I cried for a brief second hugging my mother goodbye, but there were places to go and things to do…
and we are all used to existing…
without each other.
Then my four year old son couldn’t sleep, and we laid together on his bed.
Why are you having such a hard time falling asleep, my love?
Because (tearing up)… I feel… lost.
Lost? I’m not sure I understand. Can you tell me more about that?
I need you to stay here next to me when I fall asleep because I don’t want to disappear.
Disappear? Where would you go?
To where no one is. I would be lost from you guys… and my family.
What if I said I would always be here… with you?
Sometimes people are there… and then they are gone.
I had no answer for him.
He spoke the truth.
I held him.
We sang songs.
We waited for the very very sleepy feeling.
I know what he means. He is finally becoming old enough to remember… to care… to experience his grandparents when they are here… to feel the space they leave behind when they go.
So many of our generation live far away from their parents and childhood homes. Sometimes I do feel “lost”… alone… far away from blood-ties and support. The roots of our family tree are scattered across the country… and sometimes… just sometimes…
I feel like the fallen branch just tumbling in the wind.