January 31, 2016

Suitcase of Memories

Today was a good one.

Woke up when I needed to wake up. No more pre-dawn wake ups from the kids. We got up as a family at a time that didn’t make everyone want to kill themselves. Briefly thought about when Kaia was three or four and we would wake up at five am and go for a walk amongst the garbage keeps of Doha before the sun came up and made everyone hate the world and everyone in it.

We headed off to a birthday party at a trampoline park. Watched the girls jump around, and after the party, we paid to go for another round. We jumped. All of us.

We practiced tricks. Run like a gazelle. One bounce in every box. 360. Off the side trampolines.

I was a sweaty mess, but it felt good to jump and bounce and laugh. I strained my back a tiny bit, and thought about my decaying body; I was thankful I could still jump.

Went to lunch at The Living Cafe and Kaia was so excited to make us proud and try new things. She had a Quinoa salad. She didn’t love it, but she pretended like she did. She took food risks that she has never made before.

Came home to a nap, a run, a swim, a quick FaceTime with Anthony, and a shower.

Then off to celebrate Cindy​’s birthday. Good friends. Fun conversation, with Lee​, Shawn​, and Martin​ and getting Claire​ excited about Daraja Academy​.

Three Martinis later and a mellow bus ride home, I'm faced with a tall cold glass of water and a Counting Crows song that takes me back to Ari​'s apartment in NYC. The endless nights with wine and  poetry and the girls from that restaurant that occasionally came over and made us feel loved and wanted.

The sunflowers that were to meant make us feel alive, dying in the vase, as I smoked cigarettes outside the window. The Upper East Side traffic crawling away from us, oblivious to the chaos in our minds.

Here we are now at forty-two. New friends, unaware of all the stories, all the history. Raising kids and talking about the metric system and the Guns and Roses reunion.

The only substantial connection I have with my dad is when he likes pictures of my girls on Facebook. I wish I could see him more regularly. Someday, the people we love will be gone and we will regret the little time we  spent with them. The last time Ari, Anthony and I were together was in 2005.

Why do we spread ourselves so thin across such a wide globe? The relationships we build deserve more than a hopeful visit or the impossible weight of nostalgia.

I am not a huge Counting Crows fan- I have always found them bit too poppy, but August And Everything After is a beautiful, vulnerable suitcase of memories.

The thoughts are coming through in snippets after one A.M.

I love and am loved by people I love.

This is a good feeling to take bed on a Saturday night in my forty second year. A big thank you to all the people who make this possible.

Lessons Learned:

  • As your body gets older, even jumping on a trampoline could cause damage. 
  • Your kids need you to get in there and jump around. 
  • Connect with the people you love, and tell them you love them. 

  1. What physical activity are you afraid you might not be able to do for much longer? 
  2. Who do you miss and wish you could see more often? 
  3. What’s an album that brings back great memories? 

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