March 24, 2010

This Is What I Meant

Yesterday while on the third leg of a flight to Salt Lake, I tweeted that in just one more trip, we would "bid farewell" to these frequent flights and say "hello" to normalcy. What's normal? Well...nothing, really, but there's more normal and less normal. Traveling every six weeks to Vermont, the Berkshires, the wildernesss of Utah, or Salt Lake City, then staying in various Comfort or Days Inns for up to a week at a time is something I categorize as less than normal - and it's how we've lived for the past three plus years.

The morning started with some pretty intense family work at the school our daughter attends, followed by a quick lunch before returning to our Comfort Inn in Salt Lake. Right now I'm sitting on a bed in the room, finishing up a book to review for PW, after which I'll write the review, which is due tomorrow. Sitting on the other bed is my daughter, working on her laptop on an assignment that she'll email back to school tonight. And sitting at the table working on his laptop is my husband.

This is a typical day for us during these trips, although during the Vermont and Berkshire years, much more time was spent at the schools in question, in various groups and forms of therapy. This last, final part of our daughter's long journey is the most intimate...and yet still it isn't. We're closer now as a family than we've ever been, but motel living can never substitute for the comforts of home.

Next month my husband and I will fly in for her graduation and take her home with us, where she'll spend the summer - hopefully working part-time at the bookstore and planting and maintaining a garden - before we take a well-earned family vacation. Then we'll load up the car and drive her to Conway, Arkansas so she can begin her freshman year at Hendrix College. This momentous event is something none of us considered even a possibility three years ago.

We've been talking the talk about personal responsibility and life-ownership for quite awhile now, and have begun to walk the walk, which all three of us have found a hell of a lot harder. But all those days away from home married lots of hard, life-altering work, making the time less than normal but oh, so wonderfully worthwhile.

And that is what I mean by "hello, normalcy." Totally normal? Never...but more so than the past three years. I think we've all earned it.

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