My significant other informed me this past Saturday that Sunday was the nine year anniversary of our first date. This was news to me. I am bad with dates. I have a hard time remembering whose birthday comes first in July, my mom’s or my sister’s. I frequently do not know how old I am. Sometimes I have to do the math. So it should be no surprise that I did not know it was our anniversary. I think that I knew it was in June but the date has always escaped me. The anniversary that did not slip my mind though, the one that was on June 12th, is the anniversary of my son and I going to New York to live for six months. Going for no other reason than to spend time with my mother. She was not sick. She was not dying. Not losing her mind. Which is why we went. I wanted my son to have good strong memories of his Grandmother because she is a good strong woman. I did not want him to only be able to recall, age, sickness and death. Not that we expect that in the near future in any way, shape or form. But you get my drift.
My mother and I have a great relationship. We chat via phone on both days of the weekend. Before I went to NY we would email every night. When we went to NY we agreed to move into her two bedroom, one bathroom house where she, my sister and her then three dogs lived. I didn’t really think that we would have problems with this living arrangement. I definitely had “what it would be like” in my head. So delusional. Despite the fact that I am closer to fifty than forty and the fact that I am the mother of a seven year old, I was still living under her roof and her rules applied. Even though her rules, to me, were more applicable to irresponsible twenty year old me than present day me.
Of course six months of distance between that time and it is difficult to remember the bad. Like pregnancy. Only the warm glow of the good stuff remains. I miss cool afternoons with my then unemployed friend Chrissie. While the kids were at school we would go the gourmet lunch truck and get grown up grilled cheese and cheese squash soup (kind of like a kabocha squash). We would pick up a nice crisp white at a winery with seating and a view. The weather was cool enough for a sweater and the vineyard would stretch out in front of us. Or when we visited Shinn Winery in the late Fall, right before I returned. We ate cheese and drank sturdy reds. They had a palm reader and I submitted myself one evening. I loved that there was a farm stand a hop, skip and a jump from my mom’s house and it was open every day. I loved that I could get a cauliflower of just about any color and as big as your head for $3. I loved that my son had a huge, safe outdoor space to play in. I loved that my sister would, on any given day, be out there with him. Both of them dragging their stuffed animals outside to teach or pull around in a wagon or tie to a tree. I loved having my best friend so close but still feel sad that we didn’t spend more time together. I loved that my son had a mythical summer. An unscheduled, non-class registered time full of whatever he wanted to do. He learned to ride a bike, saw a snake in the road and missed his dad like crazy.
We are going to back to NY in about a month. I am really looking forward to this trip. Non-stop to JFK helps – yay, Hawaiian. For me it feels like a homecoming. We will host a second grade reunion for the kids my son was in school with while he was there. We will hopefully travel into the city. I want to drink the best pink wines I have ever had from Croteaux winery, eat greek salad with toasty pita bread from Hellenic Restaurant and drink the best iced coffee ever from Love Lane Kitchen. Maybe I look forward to this trip because, as painful, difficult and sometimes awful living our lives in New York was for those six months, it has created a connection that did not exist before. Maybe because I had never actually lived in that house. Maybe spending the time there has made it more like home to me. To my son. So for us, we can’t wait to go home.