And he is totally pumped for our summer journey back to DC, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Atlanta to see family and friends. I am - not quite as thrilled. Due to a crazy work schedule, Kevin is unable to travel with us. That leaves me as the responsible adult who has to herd the cats through the airport, onto a cross-country flight, into a rental car, around town, including a train ride as well to NJ, and back again, over the course of 5 weeks. I am certainly not heading into enemy territory - the East Coast is home - but I typically do not take on these solo journeys because they rattle me to no end. And while I so wish everyone we were visiting had a planned itinerary for our stay, the majority of our adventures will be dependent on me and my planning. Oh - but let me not forget to give a much-deserved shout-out to my sister-in-law Emma, who, as a fellow Gemini, has absolutely planned our weekend visit to include beach and shopping and park time and wine time and kid time and - whatever else she planned. Go Emma!
The poor kids. They are stuck with me as their tour guide. Even for my own honeymoon, I sat back and followed my husband around. While I had been planning the wedding (which I kind of liked, but for the planning part of it), he planned a lovely holiday in Italy. I had little input and that was just fine with me. He is able to navigate activities and destinations and pick great hotels and find awesome restaurants and keep us busy but not frantic, relaxed but not comatose. It is a very fine balance. Heading back to Washington I certainly have an advantage - I know the place. But now I have to figure what to do each day with my little beasties at my side. And it will probably be a lovely 100 degrees with 100% humidity...probably payback for bad-mouthing California weather so readily.
I think I'm afraid plans will fall through. Or I'll just be so frazzled getting us out to the zoo that by the time I get there, I won't want to stay. I don't know. I plan everything else in my life - menus, workouts for the week, clothing for the kids, parties at the house, sewing projects and the order in which they should be tackled - why is this such a trap? Either way, it is sure to be quite an adventure. And along with other challenges that have come my way, I'm assuming that while it may not be pretty, I'll get through it. I try to remind myself that if I can get through this move across the country, I can do just about anything because NOTHING could possibly be harder than what I've already done.
It had only been a few weeks into our new life in California when I was driving somewhere, probably lost, left with my thoughts and the nice navigation lady's voice to keep me company. This song caught my attention. By Rachel Platten, it is called Fight Song and the lyrics are all about being strong and rising above and doing what you need to do, even if no one else believes that you can. I kind of loved it immediately and waited for the radio to play it again and again. Then I broke down and paid the $1.29 on iTunes and added it to my library and the more I hear it, the more I identify with the message. I play it on my way to boot camp each morning and I remind myself that I can do it. Whatever it is. I think everybody needs a fight song.
I am looking forward to seeing family and friends that I have missed these past few months. I am looking forward to familiar landscapes and repeat adventures. With some hesitation, I am looking forward to seeing how I feel now that I have a new home in California and it doesn't quite hurt as much to think about the old house or the old favorites. I am looking forward to getting back on the plane at the end of 5 weeks and saying with sincerity "let's go home", with home being Burlingame, not Alexandria. I am going to have to keep planning, as ugly as it gets. I am shipping books of activities ahead. I am having my sister do a Michael's run for crafts. I am packing cards for the plane, loading up on snacks and preparing for a long, but good journey. I will try not to let a little bit of work on my part or unexpected events dampen the joy. I'll take care of myself and my kids and we will be a great little team. And I'll get back to California and keep on fighting for peace and a sense of place. Everybody needs a fight song. For the summer, this is mine.