Sunday, August 23, 2009

What we did before

Sophie left on Saturday for my parents house in southern California. I'll join her Wednesday evening, and we'll fly home together.

She skipped onto the plane without looking back. I watched the empty doorway for a few minutes and then went around to watch the plane as it loaded. As a parent of an Unaccompanied Minor you're supposed stay there until the plane leaves in case they need to unload. Or in case they decide to sit on the runway for six hours in which case I would run out and try to hand up bagels and juice through the pilots window (I know they can open it—I saw them do) for someone to take to Sophie or try to convince them to squeeze her back to me through the window (she's skinny).

But the plane finally did taxi down the runway, followed by me walking quickly through the terminal along side it. Never mind I was at quite a distance: We were moving along, still together in a way. The plane was eventually a little dot in the sky, and I was alone. Wondering what to do.

In anticipation of this moment I asked a friend a few days ago "What did we do before we had kids?" She and I were friends long before husbands and kids, and I know we had great lives. So great, in fact, that I saw having a child as an optional activity. I would have married someone who didn't want kids and been fine with it. Some of the best marriages I know by absolutely no coincidence do not involve children.

So what did we do in those great lives? My friend recalled that we worked out all the time. That's true, and we although we didn't realize it at the time, we looked great. We went to Point Reyes to hike in the light of the full moon. Stuff like that. I recalled that I had a subscription to The New Yorker. And I read piles of books. Now I read smaller piles of books and The New Yorker only in waiting rooms and here and there online. The minute Sophie leaves for college, I'm renewing.

But. I ski more. I laugh harder. I cook better. I shop less. And I have this love that is bigger than I ever could have imagined. This life is great too. It will be even better at 7:45 p.m. this Wednesday.


Purple Flowers said...

She's a lovely young lady. I've seen her grow in the past 10 months since I've been reading your blog. You must really see her maturing. She's a cutie!

Sabina said...

Childhood does zip by, so savoring your moments is required--as you know they're practically out of the house already. I have to mention the bubblegum explosion that on ms. sophie's is you need shades to view in person? it appears to be day-glo? i'm just wondering...

Amy said...

I love The New Yorker! My husband and I receievd a subscription when we donated to a NY charity, don't remember which one. I was thrilled to get tthe magazine again. I forgot how much I enjoyed it when I subscribed after college during my first yuears in the city. It'll be something to occupy your time when Sophie no longer is.
Speaking of Sophie, she is adorable! Love her sense of fashion. I guess she likes pink and purple? I like them as well but probably am not as free with what I'll wear as she is. {sigh} to be a child with their whims and desires.
I imagine it was a little tough to put her on the plane alone? Maybe you've done it before. She probably loves it!
Have a good Monday!

Midge said...

So sweet. As a childless person I always assume people are incredibly excited to get the kids out of the house for a few days, but as I am getting older I am realizing that isn't necessarily true.

Kate said...

Amen. I hope my relationship with my kids as they get older is as good as yours is with Sophie.