Day 268

Looking Beyond, by apak

Moving On Monday

Wow. It’s been over a week since I last posted. Apologies for the absence, my dear imaginary readers! Rest assured, I am still 100% sober (not counting weed).

This past week was filled with activities with the twins – camping, time with friends, cookie-baking, craft-making, swimming at the pool, and of course, beach and more beach.

All of it, especially the camping, was energy-consuming and a mix of sweetness and complete exasperation. At the campgrounds, shortly before I threw in the towel and headed home early, an older woman commented “It takes a lot of energy to camp with kids at this age!” I replied, “Good thing we only remember the good parts!” And she agreed, “So true!!”

Let’s hope that’s the case with this trip. We headed out, filled with excitement – just me & the boys for 3 days, 2 nights in my friend’s pop-up trailer at a local campground. Weather forecast looked perfect – sunny and warm, great for swimming in the 17-acre “lake”. 

Then, things changed. The temperature crept up to 95 degrees, with thunderstorms predicted for our first night. We found out no swimming was allowed in the pond. And the boys, feeling the freedom of a new experience, started testing the limits.

The first day, it was just a lot of “Please come back, I can’t see you from here!” and “Please don’t hit your brother over the head with a stick”. The second day, after a restless and rain-filled night and even hotter day, the risky behavior increased and when I found myself asking them to please leave the jackknife alone already, and stop tomahawking each other with the rusty screwdriver they’d found on the campsite, having run out of the patience necessary to deal with one child running ahead while the other dragged behind (and then switching roles just to make their mom crazy), I threw an adult-sized tantrum, cried, and then packed up our stuff and headed home.

When we arrived, I was sweaty, dirty, covered in mosquito bites, frustrated and still chagrined from my earlier tantrum, and processing the idea that C would probably be saying “I told ya so” inside his head as we arrived, defeated. Given what I know of C, I also expected that he would not be helping me unload the car or unpack any of the stuff I’d pulled together for our trip, to “help me learn a lesson”. 

The boys piled out of the car and ran into the respite of air-conditioning, and I started unpacking the back of the van.

In the garage, I felt it.

A pang of longing so strong it was physical, like a pulling heaviness in my chest.

What I wouldn’t do for a cold, stiff G&T right now. OMG. I wanted it so so bad.

I allowed myself to feel it fully, and even think about it a little bit.

And then I got back to unpacking, a chore that kept me plenty busy long enough for the desire to pass, and a sparkling ice water to replace it as the carrot at the end of the stick.

I haven’t had a moment like that in a long time.

Aside from all the fun we’ve had over the last week, the recent news has been weighing heavily on my mind: the immigration crisis, recent celebrity suicides, the ongoing dumpster fire of our current president’s administration. Of course, as could be expected this triggers all the usual escapist reactions, which I have been indulging in more this past week than usual, thanks to a vacation mentality. Now, it’s back to the usual routine, reserving the green for weekend use only.

One nugget to share: I felt this article on Anthony Bourdain was well-written, and am considering sharing it with C given all the similarities – not sure if he would be receptive to reading it or not:

Can we talk about alcoholism and Anthony Bourdain?

Alcohol “works” for the alcoholic until it doesn’t. It promises and delivers what we seek from it for years, until it stops working. Yet still we want to drink like everybody else. Drinking is fun, right? It goes with culinary delights, correct? It enhances life, isn’t that so? Well, yes, and no. Certainly ultimately “no” if you have the malady, which quietly marches on and in time takes our joy, even our will to live and carry on and pretend we’re OK. We’re not OK. We are just good actors. He perhaps was one of the best. With alcoholism, we make rules by the way, to prove we have control. We also break those rules. We take life by the tail, but, dare I say, some weary of the show and let go.