I’ve been away for a while.
Some of you have asked where I’ve been. The thing is, I’m not sure. I do know that almost exactly one year ago my first grandchild was born, and for a wonderful time Dashiell and his parents lived with us during maternity leave. About the time they moved back to New York, my other daughter came to the big city to take a job. And for a wonderful time she and her husband and their adorable French bulldog puppy moved into the guest room. But where the time went, what I’ve been doing—I can’t quite say.
I think I fell into a family wormhole. I have felt very lucky to have this time with my daughters, my sons-in-law, my grandson, my granddog. But it’s been like time traveling—back to the years when you’re working crazy hours on the front end of your career and the baby is sick and up in the night and all you do is run to keep up with the whirl. Pam and I had been empty nesters for nearly ten years. We had gotten gloriously used to our own daily routine. But—no more of that!
Pam and I had a well worn ritual that began about 5:15 am: get up, make tea, settle into our chairs for sacred reading (she would read the first half of the text while I ate a little fruit and drank my tea, then she would pass the book to me), sit for twenty minutes of wordless prayer, go out for exercise, come back, make coffee. That’s when I would go to my office and write for an hour or so. There were days in the last year when we could manage some of that, but the whole rhythm of our lives was different. I took a sabbatical from blogging and learned to pray on the fly.
But the forces that swept me away seem to have brought me home again—or nearly so. Now seemed like a good time to sit down and write. I have learned some things along this way. Mostly how to live the life that is given you, even if that new life overturns some of the cherished parts of your old life. And that the gifts of life—precious hours and days with your adult children who actually want to share their lives with you—come at a cost; you have to give up having life on your own comfortable terms. Otherwise you grow into an old scarecrow of a man.
It feels good to write about that. Again.