Been on vacation since June 13th up here in New Hampshire. I'm renting a small lakefront cottage about 12 minutes from my parents' house. The cottage is adorable. rustic, small, amazing views of the lake. The house is literally about 20 feet from the water. There's a screened in porch that runs the length of the cottage, and two cute lil' bedrooms. Baxter is LOVING it here.
PJ drove up here with us on June 14th. (Fortunately, the sting of Mike and my wedding anniversary was countered by the fun of the first day of a great vacation...). He spent the whole week here with us and departed last Sunday, June 22nd. We spent each day just hanging out with Bax, canoing, attempting hikes (that we had to bail on because of INSANE mosquitoes), picnicking streamside, playing baseball in the Hebron village square. PJ loved it up here.
Functioning without him this past week was interesting. For about 7 months now, I have not been living the life of a single parent. I have come to rely on the energy he brings to the house as my partner and best friend and on the integral role he plays with baxter, as his dad. This is the first time we've been apart, really. We fell in love fast, saw each other daily from like week #2, and by month 3 we were cohabitating.
PJ and I have both been a lil' nervous about the "missing father" thing since he returned to NJ - wondering if it would stir memories or fears about a dad that leaves and does not return.
Related incident: On thursday, Bax and I had a lil date night, saw Kung Fu Panda, went out to dinner, and went shopping.
On the way back to the cottage we saw a beautiful sunset and I hear from the back seat in a happy voice..."Ohh.... look mama, at the beautiful sunset! PJ is up there, in heaven!"
I almost passed out...
"What, bax?" I said, as we stopped at a traffic light and I turned around to look at him.
He squinched up his eyes and nose, smiling, "I'm just joking! My PJ dad is on Melrose Avenue with Maggie cat!"
I can feel my appreciation and love for PJ growing each day we're apart. The difference between being up here this summer and last is HUGE. I do not have that subtle sadness that clouded my every experience. I don't feel like the poster child of widow like I used to. I don't feel old and worn. I feel really young. I feel in love, too - which is such a fantastic feeling - and probably the driving force behind what's making me feel so young.
While he was up here, Mimi and Poppy took baxter from 5-8 pm on a couple of nights so PJ and I could get an actual "date." We went out to dinner at this local Irish pub, saw Irish music, sat at the local bar that overlooks the lake and watched the sunset... and by ourselves! Dreamy.
And we laughed... a lot. Each night - giggle fits. like WAY past our bedtime. laughing our asses off - so loud that I can't understand how we didn't wake up Baxter.
Since PJ left, it's been mostly rainy each day. I'm speaking literally here, not figuratively. Baxter spends a couple hours with Mimi in the morning so I can get a lil' research done at the cottage. We've also gotten a lot of time with Jae and Kylee. The 3.5 year old and the almost 7 year old play together better than ever. It's a riot to just sit and watch and listen to the exchanges between them. (Photo at R, Kylee reading Dr. Seuss to Baxter).
Right now Mimi, Poppy, Bax and I are on Cape Cod, in Falmouth, MA. My mom spent every summer here from the time she was a kid in the 1940s. Her sister, Debbie is out here from Wisconsin with her kids and grandkids. I hadn't seen Aunt Debbie since our wedding. Uncle Bob, her husband died in the winter after Mike died. It's so weird that my Aunt Debbie, 76, and I can talk heart to heart about what it's like being a widow. It's so so weird. But it's also so wonderful to feel everyone's love and encouragement about my engagement to PJ, or Peter, as they all like to call him - and to watch as Baxter plays with his cousins and relatives that he has never met before.
We'll go back up to the lake together tomorrow morning. Tuesday, July 1, Crazy Susan arrives from Philly!! Hurray! I love watching as Crazy Susan transforms into Chillin' Susan before my eyes up here in this lake and mountain paradise.
And now, if you don't already hate us here at the house of Young and Gallagher for our extensive vacation... you will in a second:
After we drive back home on Saturday, July 5th, Bax, PJ and I head right down to Sea Isle City for a WEEK at the Jersey Shore with the whole Gallagher clan. It feels nice to be the person that others might be jealous of... instead of the person who people might look at and say, "Thank effing GOD that's not me."
It's funny. I always thought that the summer when I was 14 would go down in history as the best summer ever... no job, beach every day, crush on a boy i met at day camp...But this one is coming in to be a close second.
Yes, I have shitloads of research to do.
Yes, I have 2 revise and resubmits to complete and a paper to prepare for presentation at the end of August in Boston.
Yes, I'm teaching an intensive 5-week summer course July 14-Aug 15th.
But, I also have two summer scholars who are kicking ass at UD on a couple of projects for me, and I feel like this time maxin and relaxin is going to make me into one focused cat.
Oh right, there's also the BIG BIG EVENT OF THE SUMMAH:
Mark your calendars for the 3rd Annual LaUGHTaSTIC SKETCH-o-PaLOOZa
Comedy Show to benefit Jefferson Hospital for Neuroscience
Sunday, August 24, 2008
World Cafe Live
Doors open at 6 pm
Show at 7:30
Tix $15 available NOW at:
Don Montrey and Danna Young
- ComedySportz Philly
- Bad Hair Sketch
- Masters of mic and powerpoint, Rowan & Hastings
- Stand up comedy by: Steve Gerben and Doogie Horner