Mom, T, and I traveled to Charlottesville, VA yesterday to visit my Aunt who is convalescing in a hospital there. My cousin and his wife and two adorable daughters live in town, and they were kind enough to watch T while Mom and I were with my Aunt. Later in the evening we went back to their home for dinner. A million years ago my cousin and his wife lived in the East Village. Z and I developed a friendship with them that moved well beyond family obligations. We loved hanging out with them and their friends because they were so different from our circle. They both graduated from the engineering program at UVA and they had real jobs in offices. The closest we got to that was when I was temping. Our friends were all in theater at that point, because Z was still doing the set design thing and I was still doing the pretending I was going to try and be an actress thing. So they seemed impossibly together and responsible and grown up to us. But they were also a hell of a lot of fun. We were really crushed when they moved to Charlottesville several years before we left the city ourselves.
I haven’t seen them in years and I don’t think I’m overreaching to say we were all excited for the opportunity to hang out and catch up. But this whole parenting gig can really put a cramp in our style. Their girls were sick. The baby had an ear infection and the toddler developed a stomach bug when we sat down to dinner. The yummy meal my cousin’s wife prepared (she went to culinary school in NYC, she can really cook) became a comedy of sick kiddo errors. She and I exchanged maybe 20 words before circumstances beyond anyone’s control took over and we decamped to my Uncle’s house. I doubt she got to enjoy any of the meal she made last night. I was really sad to miss the opportunity to catch up, but the cool thing about becoming a mom is you just get that stuff is out of your control sometimes. Hopefully we won’t wait so long to see each other again, and the good news is the girls were right as rain this morning.
And this morning was magical. Two Robinson Rams from the good old Class of 95 live in the area. Two gals who were fellow “drama fags” (yes, that is what they called us…not only offensive, but as most of us were girls it didn’t even make sense!) met up with this old drama fag at the Charlottesville Farmers Market. After yummy donuts we headed to a playground and watched our kids play while we tried to catch up on the last 15 years. My cousin, his wife, and the girls came by and I had a chance to up the word exchange count with both of them. It went too fast, I wanted to talk to all of them more, but it was amazing. I’d been looking forward to it all week, but during the drive to the market my mom asked me what was wrong. I’d been rendered mute by the unavoidable anxiety that accompanies any social interaction, especially one where the stakes seemed so high-I only had a few short hours with friends I haven’t seen in years. It was such a victory, though. I didn’t give in to the anxiety and had a wonderful time. Hopefully it will help me remember next time that social interactions are worth the effort.
So a good day. A happy post. The end.
My beautiful boy actually napping on the way back to my sister’s house. He isn’t a good car sleeper, so this was big. He is 15 months old today.
This is exactly how I felt today.