I think the word I would use would be draining. I had sort of thought about what it would be like, and I thought about a lot of possibilities. What I forgot about was how much it would make me miss my mom. Recently - past eight months or so - I'd been in a flow where I didn't have to miss my parents very much, where it was there every day, but not really. The hardest part of this weekend was watching that go away. I wish I was more grateful for the really good parts of this weekend. But I just feel knocked down. This weekend has been hard for me.
When I got to Utica, I got off the train a little early, so I sat and waited, and worked on some homework. After about ten minutes, my aunt was in front of me. She said, "I recognized you from behind by your hair." I said something about being a typical blonde from Utah. She said, "No, not that. It's your mom's hair."
There were some of moments like that. Things I do like my mom. Ways I am her daughter. Stories about her. I learned a little more about my mother than I've ever known.
Friday was my mom's 42nd birthday. We had cake.
The hardest part / the highlight of this weekend was seeing a home video that I'd never seen before. I don't actually have any videos of me and my parents, so it really meant a lot to me to get to see it. To see us as a family, and see how much my parents loved me. This video was oven an hour, and chronicled May 1996 when my dad graduated law school, through that summer which included my second birthday and Sam's being born, and into December of that year. It wasn't a nice, neat, put-together movie. It jumped from scene to scene erratically, often mid-sentence or leaving a question unanswered. It kinda reminded me of the first 10 minutes of UP. But I loved it. I loved seeing moments of our life as a little family.
My very favorite part of the video - the part that I went to pieces at - was at the hospital right after Sam is born. I'm sitting in the bed with my mom, who's holding Samuel. We have this kinda sweet dialogue that mothers and toddlers have. Then my mom kisses me on the forehead, the way moms do with little kids to say "I love you." It was just so tender and loving. My mother loved me. I know that.
Seeing the video, hearing the stories, and being around my mom's family was a good thing to do. I know that if I hadn't done it I would have always regretted it. But now, I’m exhausted. My heart and my mind is wiped out. I feel like I do after I've been crying for hours, but I haven't cried all that much. Maybe I need a good cry in the shower. All I really want to curl up in a blanket and drink hot chocolate and be held and loved.
This is a quote that's been on my mind all weekend. I'm not sure where it comes from. It's either from a book or a movie. Or something else that I once crossed paths with.
When it comes to picking somebody else to raise your kids, no one seems right. No one is you. And so you choose someone who is most like you. Someone that will give the kids a taste of their real mom, the mom they lost and never really got to know.It will always make me sad that I didn't get to know my parents, but I love my family so much. Judy really is a lot like my mom. I'm grateful for that. And I have several second-moms who Judy tells me are really similar to my mom. I'm grateful for them, too. Yesterday on the train home, I was feeling really drained. So once I got to New York, where I had a long time between trains, I called Judy. She and Sam and I talked on the phone for an hour and a half. It wasn't going home for Thanksgiving, but it felt kinda close. I just love them.
* * *Day 23: I am grateful for all my friends who sent me well-wishes for this past weekend. It means a whole lot to me.
Day 24: I am a horrible person for this, but I am grateful for vindication. Sam got in a teeny tiny accident, which came with a ticket for following too closely. WHO'S THE BAD DRIVER NOW?
Day 25: I am grateful for my Swat friends. I am grateful that yesterday when I got back to campus, I got to sit in my friends' room and talk about everything for 5 hours.