Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Missing New York

Having a cold in the winter is almost cliché, but having one in the summer is downright annoying. I want to get out of the house, to smell flowers and shake hands, I want Olivia to play with people without having to worry about the germ-bomb. I had been planning for months to accompany Steve to his conference in New York City this week. He would do the conference thing, I would shop for jewelry supplies, we'd meet up for dinner at a fabulous restaurant. Diner for breakfast, pizza for lunch, coffee with my friends who live in the city.

Olivia developed a cough on Friday and, even after being reassured by the nurse on the phone that it's normal for an infant, I made the decision not to go to New York. I make all these grand plans ("Oh, she only needs a bottle and that's so portable") to go with Steve to Sweden, Seattle, New York, etc. only to be crippled with anxiety when it comes time to actually go. The prospect of a 6-hour flight with an infant who only sleeps in her own crib in the dark was enough to convince me not to go to Sweden and Seattle, but we'd be driving to New York. We could stop along the way, bring all the gear, and I could even leave early if it came down to it - totally doable!

But with a sick kid and a stuffy head I chickened out and stayed home. And now that I really think about it, it wouldn't have been like the old days anyway -- hopping on a train from Delaware in the morning, shopping for beads and supplies all day, forgetting to eat lunch, crashing with a Krispy Kreme on the train ride home. Now it would be: wait until Olivia wakes up and eats and then forage for breakfast, lug her back to the hotel room for her nap, hole up in the hotel doing work I could be doing at home, venture out for lunch and hit one store before afternoon naptime... Trying to keep the grabby-hands off all the shiny! sparkly! beads! and not being able to focus on what I need and already have. Trying to shimmy past others in the narrow city-shop-aisles with a baby strapped to my front... What was I thinking? And forget about clothes shopping in that scenario.

Maybe I'm just telling myself it wouldn't have been fun as consolation for staying home, but maybe the reality is sinking in that I am not quite on board with this chapter in my life. The previous chapter was pretty great and long, but gee I have a happy kid who sleeps while I get my work done (best job ever), my parents live nearby and provide lots of support and friendship, I love my husband to pieces and he has a great job, we have a wonderful church family... I need to suck it up. This chapter doesn't seem to have much about traveling (except for Steve), but maybe the next chapter will. (The chapters seem to follow an alternating pattern of "have cake" and "eat it, too.") God, grant me the grace to live in this chapter and listen to what you're trying to tell me, and to think about our beautiful house as a haven and not a hermitage.


WASPy Girl said...

come to coffee tomorrow. we can pretend the walking mall is SoHo or something. they're totally similar:)

livi girl said...

Yes, it's just a chapter and it's temporary. I have to remind myself that certain parts of my life are temporary and then I start thinking about how someday they will get older and be more self sufficient, and then I think about how they will grow into teenagers and I won't be able to cuddle with them every night before bed and they won't have little arms to wrap around my neck and then I get all weepy and blubbery and then suddenly I don't mind being in this "chapter" anymore. (I know, I'm a mess.)