Friday, February 20, 2009

A little distance

A little distance, combined with a lack of sleep, does a lot of good in getting over mother-baby separation anxiety. A dose of excitement helps as well.

I finally got excited when I arrived in Moscow. The language around me was foreign, but I understood it. I’d been there before, but it was still a new environment and I had to stretch to figure things out. Riding in the taxi on the way into town I was excited by the decrepit apartment blocks, by the trucks covered with a layer of winter grime, by the red, white and blue banners flying in advance of Men’s Day (or Defender’s of the Motherland land day), by the majestic Stalinist wedding cake building, by the small kiosks selling blini, chicken or jewelry. All of this made me feel at home.

It reminded me of why I love being overseas in the first place and why I have traveled so much since I’ve been able to – because it challenges my mind and my senses, it invigorates me and brings the details of daily living to my attention. I realize that having a family means I can’t live overseas as I might like to. While I’m willing to make that sacrifice, this trip is helping me to remember that keeping myself whole probably means traveling from our family base, either with or without River.

I have had four interviews so far for a potential dream job, wonderful in many ways, but requiring a lot of travel. This trip will be a test of what it might be like if I were to get and take this job. Could I handle being separated from River one quarter of the time as well as the travel fatigue? Can Mark handle keeping the ship afloat on his own?

This is an experiment in where our family boundaries are and how we can craft an existence that works best for everyone.

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