Friday, April 5, 2013

a lone star in the Lone Star

Last weekend, we were blessed to have my brother and sister-in-law visit and celebrate Easter with our family.  I have time with my youngest brother Jason, and his amazing wife, Juliana.  They may be younger than I am (and for that, I'm eternally jealous), but their wisdom and relate-ability brings an added dose of realism, humor, and love to my persona and to our home.  Time spent with them makes it all the more challenging to spend time without them.  There's something special about the connection they share with one another, and the connection our family shares with the two of them.  I don't think I cried more tears of happiness than the day they were married last summer, because their relationship is inspirational to anyone who know them.

While our weekend together was fast, we had a lot of fun and enjoyed our time together.  We laughed (a lot), talked (a lot--and I'm sorry, Jul, if I was a total chatterbox on our drive to the coast!), ate more than we should have, played games, and relaxed.  When the time came to drop them off at the airport, my emotions got the best of me and I wordlessly hugged my all-grown-up-but-still-'baby'-brother for a little longer than usual.  He must have known I needed that, because he squeezed me tighter and asked me, "are you happy here?".  I knew he didn't mean this as a way to give me opportunity make a quick escape back to PA, but just as a little way to 'check in'.  I couldn't speak without unleashing a deluge of tears, but nodded my head and quietly wept just a little more.  We exchanged a few more loving words of support, before my inner desire to 'make everything ok' changed the repartee to something lighthearted, and I reminded them of the home for sale just down the street from ours.  A few laughs and the final glisten-y-eyed farewells and they were heading into the airport for their flight.

I think I cried for the first thirty minutes of the drive home.  I cried a little more while I cooked dinner, cried a little more when I recounted the weekend with my mom on the phone, and when I just typed that last paragraph (nearly a week later) I had to set the tissues next to my laptop.  Something about that little hug and Jason's question, "are you happy down here?" hit me deep in my gut, tugged at my heartstrings.

It's not that I'm 'unhappy' per say, but life sure isn't what I had become accustomed to in Colorado.  We've been 'deep in the heart of Texas' for six months (crazy to think that), and I've been inadvertently been making comparisons to my last experience of an interstate move.  I realize that my cycle of life isn't equitable between the two times; in Colorado I was on the verge of starting a family, while here in Texas I'm raising that family.  I absolutely love being a stay at home mom, enjoying this time with my girls all day and being there to get Gavin from school.  It's brought an added perspective from which to connect with other moms, as well as given me first-hand experience on both sides of the 'working mom vs. stay at home mom' battle that rages among the competitive species of mommies.  But sometimes, being a wife and mom isn't enough.

Personal connections, interactions, and the human experience are vital to making our worlds go round.  They're like your comfy jeans that make them your 'go-to, feel-good' clothes when you just want to chill and unwind.  Randy, Gavin, Brynn, and Raegan make up more than 90% of the connections that I have here in Texas.  We've been blessed to have a great family living across the street with whom we've become friends, and I'm slowly (verrrrryy slowly) getting to know some of the other moms in the PTO through various volunteering endeavors.  But otherwise, aside from the random store clerk I'll strike up conversation with, it's just the five of us.

Most days, I feel like a *lone*star* in the Lone Star state.  I feel like I need to try and shine little brighter so our friends and family scattered throughout the country can see still our light, and so we can try to attract the light of others around us, drawing them near.  I'm grateful for the luxuries of the technology that lets me connect with loved ones at the click of a button or the swipe of a touch screen (or, with a few hours on an airplane).  But there's something to be said for the face-to-face connection.  Sharing meals, building forts, playing football, tag, Scattergories and Apples to Apples...basically being in the same physical space as loved ones can do wonders for your soul.  I'm blessed to have Randy and the kids, who keep me grounded, keep me busy, keep me smiling.  But sometimes...just every now and then, I wish I didn't feel like a lone star, but a part of a much larger constellation in this big ole' state.

So, Jason, if you're reading this (or, if I know you like I think you do, Jul is reading this to you), to answer your question with more than the nod I gave you, I'm happy.  Happy, but incomplete.  Happy, but hopeful.  Happy, but scattered.  I thought I could handle this change in my life better than I am; thought I wouldn't be often times overwhelmed by the random, fragmented, disconnected feelings that leave me sleepless in Houston, and having a lengthy list of half-written blog posts that lament my sadness or lonesomeness or failings at that particular time.  I'm happy, but riddled with feelings of guilt that I'm not being enough, trying enough, doing enough to be more positive and extroverted about this adventure in life.  I should be grateful for the opportunities given, and I am.  I so, so am.  But on Monday, there was nothing I was more grateful for than the extra long hug before you left to catch your plane.  Thank you.

Love light, shine bright.  xoxo

No comments :

Post a Comment