Journey Proud

The night before a vacation or any type of trip, I rarely sleep. I toss and turn, and turn on the TV, fitfully dozing at best.

My Aunt J refers to this as being “journey proud,” as in excited, nervous, and all the rest about an upcoming journey. Throughout the years, I have arrived exhausted many times at her beach house, suffering from a kind of journey-proud lag, and always, it seemed, with two very well-rested kids in tow. Over those years, she never hesitated to take a toddler in hand or accompany a 10-year-old on the bike path and tell me to “go collapse on the sofa.” I love my Aunt J. She is the mother figure in my life and a wonderful grandmother-like great aunt to RG Son and Daughter.

“The babies are coming tomorrow!” I told her on the phone, yesterday.

“Oh, they got time off together? Wonderful!” she exclaimed.

It’s been almost a year since I have seen RG Son. I have missed every birthday and holiday with both my “babies” over the past year. When RG Daughter called to tell me she had unexpected time off this week, I booked flights for her and called her brother to beg him to join her–high-season prices and a total lack of cash on my part be damned. What’s another few hundred on plastic?

Thus, on my one day off yesterday, I cleaned and straightened the apartment, shoving unpacked but not-put-away stuff in closets and propping up unhung mirrors and framed prints on tables and cabinets, all in a vague hope to make it seem almost like home–one both kids will want to come home to, again.

“You sure you don’t mind picking them up?” I asked my great guy. I have to be at work this morning. He has to work tonight. This is our norm, living on opposite schedules.

Thus, during his few hours off, my great guy will spend those hours in the car, navigating several hours up Route 1, the Stretch and the Turnpike to pick up his girlfriend’s kids whom he’s never met and is a little nervous to do so, turn right around and drive back several more hours down the same boring highways to deliver them to my bar and then attempt to make it to his job on time. This is why he is my great guy.

I woke up at three this morning in a panic about how it’s all going to work out–not just about today’s logistics–but about everything:

–Will they like my great guy?

–Will they think I seem tired and haggard from the weird early hours and longs days working in my bar?

–Will they like my great guy?

–Will they think the apartment is okay, being a far cry from any place I’ve ever lived?

–Will they like my great guy?

–Will they think the fat new pup is cute, in all her neediness for affection?

–Will they like my great guy?

–Will they think all is fine in my life that I am living far away from Key West in this quiet fishing town, where Bingo is the big event of my week, and where I’m not sure I can scrounge a boat for them to spend even an hour on the water because it’s peak season?

–Will they like my great guy?

The babies are coming today! I have never felt so journey proud in my life.






7 responses to “Journey Proud”

  1. Jennifer Avatar

    My grandmother used that same phrase… and did the exact same thing. A habit which I inherited, so I feel ya. 😉

    Here’s hoping you and the kids and the great guy have a WONDERFUL visit. You all deserve it!!!

  2. savannah Avatar

    happiness, sugar! YIPPIEEEE!!!! xoxoxox

  3. Kim Ayres Avatar

    Well that all depends – is he likeable? 🙂

  4. okcmermaid Avatar

    Yes, they will like your great guy … as they see for themselves how well he treats you!

    No, you will not seem tired and haggard. You will look BEAUTIFUL because you are their wonderful beloved mother!

    Yes, they will like your great guy .. because he is …welll .. GREAT!

    Yes, they will think the apartment is more than okay, because wherever Mom is – that is home and the best place to be!

    Yes, they will like your new guy because he makes your life so much better!

    Yes, they will think the fat new pup is cute and they will lavish the sweet thang with plenty of affection.

    Yes, they will like your great guy because he makes you so happy!

    Yes, they will think all is fine in your life IF you believe all is fine in your life!

    Yes, they will like your great new guy. And maybe by the end of the vacation, they will be falling a bit in love with him. How could they not?


  5. L. Avatar

    Wishing you a wonderful visit with your family … I’m sure they’ll love your great guy.

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