May 14, 2012

IT'S DIFFERENT NOW: DIFFERENT GOOD

I used to travel alone all the time. Sometimes for work and sometimes for fun. Several years ago after a bad breakup I decided that I just couldn't celebrate Thanksgiving the traditional way (surrounded by family all tilting their head to one side as they asked me how I was doing...ugh) so I booked a solo trip to Oceanside, CA. The hotel pity-upgraded me (this poor thing is all alone on Thanksgiving, give her the suite). I walked to a grocery store and stocked-up on diet cokes and hot tamales and picked out a dusty Cup-O-Noodles to eat on the beach at sunset on Thanksgiving.

It was perfectly heartbreaking; all of it. I remember sitting alone and watching the sun melt into the Thanksgiving waves and I felt peace. I was at peace being alone. At peace digging my toes in the sand. At peace slurping my Cup-O-Noodles. At peace with my anonymity. Mostly the last one. You know how there are people who always needs to be with someone? Always need to call a friend and can't stand spending one night alone watching Bed of Roses for the umpteenth time? That is NOT me. Being alone and anonymous is practically the best thing ever because you can feel how you want to feel and act how you want to act and NOBODY notices.

Now when I travel I'm part of this big caravan. I'm not the girl in the window seat on the plane who puts on her headphones and sleeps the entire flight. I'm the mom with toys and bottles and a poopy diaper in my purse who has an entire game plan for a smooth flight. I'm the woman that girl with the headphones is trying to avoid. Goodbye anonymity.

The first few days in Santa Monica were just for me and Clem to enjoy. Nate had meetings and work to do so I'd put Clemmy in the stroller or baby bjorn and we'd just go on mini adventures. And the thing is, I wasn't anonymous for even a moment. I always got noticed with Clementine. I know people love babies; people LOVE Clementine. A lot. To the point where I couldn't go anywhere without someone tickling her or playing peek-a-boo with her or biting her toes. Yes, I said biting her toes. And it's not their fault, really. It's Clementine's fault. Because she has these eyes that cast a spell on you. She's got eye of newt and dragonfly wings and all sorts of spellbinding concoctions behind those baby-blues and once you look into them you cannot be held responsible for your actions.

See. I told you.
So now I'm basically Clementine's wingman. We walk into a room, she sniffs out the nice ones and then they are magically summoned by her eyes to come and talk to us and tell us how cute she is. How is that for a commanding presence? She forces me out of my quiet; out of my shell; out of my head. And I have to interact and make eye contact and share my Cup-O-Noodles and sunset with handfuls of strangers who I never knew could make life so much more interesting.



4 comments:

The Meesh said...

love it. I love how you're embracing a new side of yourself. Change is scary, but staying the same is scarier.

Kymberly Frey said...

How come I want to bite Clementine's toes, now? I love that little piece of sunshine. It's true, children have a way of making us interact with life and be interested in others. They are part of helping us find ourselves and liking what we see. And yes, Clementine's eyes are spellbinding. Poof! Just thinking about them I turned into a frog.

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wow, baby, are you look at me! I am very happy to meet you!

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