Pretending I’m Totally Normal

Life has been pretty fucking terrific since the boys and I returned from our trip to North Carolina a few weeks ago. The weather in Syracuse has been amazing. Z is done teaching and has been home with us for much of the time. His parents, sister, and her wife visited last week and it was a blast. Despite my son’s pissing on the furniture issue I’ve been actively happy. Like the kind of happy where I walk up to Z in the middle of the day and tell him that I love our life and I’m grateful. It’s all very sappy, please feel free to roll your eyes.

I’ve written before about being content in my cocoon of a life here. And how that happiness is like a narcotic that helps me forget that I’m scared to leave the house. I’ve written before about being aware that I’m making the same realizations over and over on this blog. Sorry about the repetitiveness, friends. But that is part of the mental illness game-realizing all this stuff about yourself over and over because it is so damn easy to slip back into the safe, comfortable patterns and stop doing the necessary work.

Starting tomorrow I’ll be jerked out of the safety and comfortableness big time. We are taking our annual sojourn down south, and this time there will be a weeklong stay in DC tacked at the end for Z to work with a Modern dance company he’s gotten involved with. Long story. On the way down we are stopping in Charlottesville, VA to stay with one of our best friends. Well, I went to high school right outside DC, and over the last few weeks I’ve been blithely making all sorts of plans to see various former Robinson Rams, many of whom I haven’t laid eyes on in 17 years or so. Many of whom I wasn’t really friends with back then. It turns out I regret not knowing these people better when I was actually seeing them everyday. All those years between graduation and facebook being ubiquitous I thought I didn’t give a crap about keeping in touch with the folks I used to know. I was an idiot and seriously missing out on some amazing people. I’m glad I know better now.

My family moved away from the area as soon as I went to college, and I never spent much time there in the years since. So I’ve jumped on this opportunity. And I’m seriously excited. The boys and I are spending the Tuesday of that week with a woman who became a librarian. She was a couple of years ahead of me in school and we weren’t more than acquaintances then, but it turns out we have stuff in common. And she’s just a really interesting person. Wednesday we are spending with another woman who I didn’t know well back in the early 90s. But she cracks me up constantly with her posts about her kids. She’s the kind of mom I want to be with my boys. Friday night we are staying with one of my favorite people from school and his family. I can’t wait to meet his wife and kids, and I can’t wait for him to meet Z and my guys. One of those evenings I’m going to try and arrange a meet up for drinks with various folks.

Now that it’s nearly time to get in the car I’ve started to question myself. I have serious agoraphobic tendencies. I have an anxiety disorder that still requires medication. My IBS flares up whenever I’m in stressful situations. And I’ve willingly agreed to drive stick shift, which I still can’t do well, from Georgia to DC with my two boys in the backseat. Z is flying to a conference in Maine in the middle of our trip and will be going to DC from there. I’ve decided that I can handle driving my kiddos around DC in that car for the week, having tons of social interactions. Who the hell am I? How am I going to be able to do this? My biggest fear is I’m going to fuck it all up. I don’t want to flake on my friends. I don’t want to spoil my good time by giving in to the anxiety. So the bottom line is I’m scared. But I’m going to try and plow through anyway. I’ll let you guys know how it goes.

Z made me a paper hat like the one he wears. Evidently he expects me to wear it while outside just like he does. 
I really adore this kid. Even after all the peeing on furniture stuff. He came outside with me on Wednesday morning so I could deal with putting away the empty trash and recycling containers. And he walked up to our bin, grabbed it, and walked it all the way around our house to where it belonged. I didn’t prompt him at all. It was amazing. And now I’m planning all sorts of chores he can do….
We are mostly giving C finger foods now. He digs it. His aim does need a little work, though.

7 thoughts on “Pretending I’m Totally Normal

  1. There is nothing wrong with you that two drinks won't fix.

    Except for the driving stick with your kids in the back seat part….I got nothing, you're on your own. Good luck! 😉

  2. My advice on driving in DC (with kids and a stick): Don't rely too heavily on GPS/maps on your phone because when that gets you turned around, you'll be freaking to find a quiet place to park to sort out where you are lost. I recommend you sit down, old skool style, and plan routes like you did back in the 1990s, with a map and a friend to tell you about traffic, short-cuts, construction, etc. You will still have GPS/phone (maybe, I'm assuming you have a smart phone) as back up.

    And assign one friend who you can call as your personal OnStar in the area. I did this when my dad had to work out of a office in Manassas for two weeks. He had to do service calls all over the region and he'd call with two crazy locations and I'd get him there around the local events (I recall he had to avoid the National Christmas Tree lighting that night.)

  3. Start practicing with the stick now. It really does become automatic…….and it's a great skill to have….keep looking forward to your trip and enjoy!

  4. Concentrate on how awesome it will be! It was kinda cool to go back and see DC (and all the stuff I took for granted way back when.)

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