It’s nice to be taken care of. Yesterday I took the girls to a local water park here in Broomfield – The Bay. I watched them run around for about 3 hours, running up the steps, sliding down…running up, sliding down. They must have done the same thing 100 times in a row. Somewhere in between they’d migrate to where our things were sitting for a snack – turkey sandwiches, Cheetos, blueberries and apples. And then…it would all start again. After that, we came home and made smoothies and played with play dough. Just us girls.
They made me smile all day. Real smiles. Personal smiles. Private smiles. Smiles that I think anyone could relate to on the surface, but also smiles that no one could comprehend the depth of without being me. That’s because when I was smiling I was watching what they were doing, amused, happy that they were happy. But I was also thinking about who I am, who I used to be, how my life is now and how it was before. I was thinking about the little seedlings of personality that I’ve implanted in Ava & Lily that cause them to smile when I do, make them joke the way I joke, allow them to just be happy and comfortable…because they feel loved and cared for.
Dear Future Bubba: Man, you were happy on that summer day in 2010 when you took the girls to the water park. You were calm and introspective and proud of the girls and proud of yourself! Good work!
Yes…it’s nice to be taken care of. Since we’ve been at my mom’s house I’ve had my laundry washed and folded. Her pantry is full of snacks I am familiar with and like and I harvest it regularly. My mom loves being with the girls and their time together has allowed me to focus on going to the gym, getting work done, seeing friends and, well…feeling like I am living a regular life. She’s a good woman, my mom. She’s always made me feel supported. Sadly, I don’t let her know enough how important she is to me. I need to be better about that. I know on some level she’s a little disappointed that I’ve been eating out so much, whether going to restaurants or bringing food home. But I can’t help it. All the food that exists in Denver that I can’t get in Ohio is just far too tempting and I need to get my fill before returning to culinary exile.
Also, it’s striking how nice it’s been to work a 9-5. I’ve never done that really. Right after college I moved to California and started the daily grind of employment… You know, the one that fills the time space between any point and death. But I was in school then as well. It’s been 17 years since that time, and despite working on campaigns all over the country, I’ve never actually worked in Denver. 17 years. So I’ll add to my initial point – it’s striking how nice it’s been to work a 9-5…in Denver. For the last two weeks I was working out of the Denver office, at least during the days I was in town. They’re nice offices too, located right downtown in the middle of a dozen fun things…restaurants, coffee, etc. Every part of working there has been a reminder of how much of a contemporary professional lifestyle I am missing by being in Lima – having a choice of boutique coffee shops to pick from in the morning, walking to 7-11 at 2 in the afternoon just because I felt like an apple and a Big Gulp, hitting a wine bar to meet Cory after work. So different, I think. Look at all these fun things. Look at all these people walking around. There aren’t even sidewalks where I live. Then depression creeps in.
I guess this will be my final observation of the day – that it’s also been nice to be around my friends. Finally…finally we have reached the point where we have integrated the parts of us that are care providers for our families, wild boys that like to go out and have fun and responsible professionals in our own respective fields. I don’t know if that makes any sense, but what I mean is that we don’t need to see each other and then immediately regress to when we were 21. We’ve been barbecuing with the kids. We’ve been golfing. We’ve been to dinner a couple times. Hell, I was supposed to go to the water park with Scott’s wife – just us and the kids, but she had to cancel. Know what we haven’t done? Gone out bar hopping and got sloppy and liquored up. It’s a welcome thing, and I miss my friends.
Reason #4,567 that I am launching the campaign to move back.