I’m wrapping up my second trip of the summer, trips that I was incapable of a year ago. The first trip was a week stay in nearby midsized city for son to attend fencing camp. This current trip was to Williamsburg, where son attended a computer programming camp at the College of W & M, and daughter and I got to be tourists.
Navigating– I used to be the navigator, husband used to drive, and I’d serve as relief driver for a few hours so he could rest. In midsized city, I learned how to navigate and drive by occasionally pulling over to a sidestreet when I missed a turn. I gradually ceded the Google Map to the kids. We had some growing pains–I snapped at son at a treacherous intersection, he expressed that he feels like he can never do anything right, I was chastened and admitted that I am pretty scared–and now we’ve all improved.
Slowing down–Husband and I were keen on overnight drives–we’d trade off driving while the kids slept and plow through our road trips. That’s not possible now, and I get nervous about breaking down, getting in an accident in the middle of nowhere, etc. I broke up the trip on the way down and the way back with overnight stops at hotels. It cost extra money, but we became travelers instead of just gunnin’ it. On the way down, we caught a matinee of Romeo and Juliet at a Shakespeare company and stayed at an old stagecoach inn. That was novel. On the way back, we ended up at an “artist’s cottage” b&b in the same town. I’m writing this now from the backyard of the cottage. The birds woke me up at dawn.
We can do this, I guess. I was able to get the kids places where they could experience new things. We are all stronger and more capable that we were a year ago.
And yet I still feel empty. I feel like a servant to these children. It’s noble work, I know, but I’m not deriving much personal satisfaction from any of this. Except for this artist’s cottage, where I fantasize being a solo middle-aged woman in this tidy, light-filled space in a mountain town, I’ve gone through the motions. The tears came easily this week. I kept them in for the entire day at Colonial W’burg, then let them out in my room at night. Another night, in the midst of an entertaining scene in A Midsummer Night’s Dream (yes, two plays in one week) tears rolled down my face. I don’t even know what I was crying about.
I really have to get happier. This sad and lonely stuff just won’t do.