I wrote this two years ago after our trip back home for our West Coast wedding blessing ceremony. It was the first time we got to show the boys where they were born and the last time they saw my dad, their “Grandpa Wise-man” (a title he gave himself for his step-grandkids)
Looking back I am even more grateful to have had this little time with everyone together, not knowing it would never happen again.
I wanted to take a second and put down how grateful I am to have had such an amazing time back West. So many people came from near and far to see us and the boys it was absolutely humbling. Everyone chipped in to help us put on “the Blessing.” Even though many of us (me included) could not get through our tears to articulate our feelings, in the end it was unnecessary.
Sometimes words just get in the way of feelings. In the same way that tears get in the way of our words. There was so much love shared I don’t think any verbiage could have improved it.
The oldest munchkin felt comfortable enough that he WANTED to sing his “Grandpa Wise-Man song” and even the little one took the mike a few times- I was not expecting any of that!
Their obvious comfort in that situation meant the world to me and Ry.
I think it is safe to say that the boys had a blast at our ‘fake wedding’ and on the trip in general. They fell in love with the childhood secret spots on my road.
When given a choice all they really wanted to do was walk down to the creek, or play in the backyard.
Not that I can blame them.
We had such amazing conversations with the two of them, they were so excited, sweet and inquisitive the whole time. They were kind to each other and all my family members (most of whom they never met before.)
Their constant and ceaseless acceptance of my family and myself is the most amazing thing I have ever experienced in my life.
We didn’t do any of the normal tourist things in Santa Cruz, instead we showed them all the places that only locals know. We managed to get to Swanton almost everyday for the best strawberries and coffee on the face of the earth.
Then it was off to shelling at Pigeon Point, followed by lunch at Duartes in Pescadero (with my dad.) We drove on every back road we possibly could to get everywhere and made sure to get the top of China Grade so we could watch the sun set over Big Basin and the Pacific.
We caught blue bellies and snakes at Wilder Ranch-
and hiked everywhere.
We even caught a SJ Giants game and the boys learned how to score live baseball from my mom and her sisters (my aunts.)
They really do have the best ball park BBQ EVER!!! The oldest spent most of the game tormenting my little sister.
I could not have been prouder!
They attacked Sara every morning and decorated her room with threatening squirrel pictures, twice. They both learned how to use a blow dart gun but that first you always yell “fire in the hole” AND make sure down range is clear, anytime you load up.
They built redwood forts, made potions and even went to an Aikido class with me.
Oh, and leaned to say ‘Righteous’ instead of ‘Awesome.’
The last day we had them while driving North on Highway One (yet again.) Out of the blue, the little one says excitedly “Em, you live in two places!” I corrected him that I only live in one now, at our house in Maine.
After we dropped them off his words still rang in my head. I realized that my life in California had never been a reality to him. It was made of nothing more than stories of places he had never seen or didn’t remember and people who he never met.
Seeing it, feeling it- gave it life for him. My connection to that place changed his perception of me and helped him to better understand so much of who I am.
It might even have given them some inkling of what I gave up in order to be in their life.
Ryan and I realized right before we left that we would be coming back exactly three years since we packed everything into the truck and headed East. It has been such a whirlwind since then it was amazing to take stock and see all we had accomplished in that time. We were so focused on surviving we never looked up to see all that we had done.
We were able to build so much because of the foundation we had out West. We have many good friends even though they are all thousands of mile from here, they are never more then a phone call or email away.
We have each other for our daily comfort and I don’t think there is any better proof for how well matched we are.
There has been a phrase that comes up every time something difficult arises- “We’ll fuguire it out.” As you can imagine we said this A LOT over the past few years. Often it is the only thing to say- as some new development smashes any plan we had for our lives.
We don’t say it because we have any idea what we to do, just that together we will figure it out.
We work well together, always have and I pray- always will. We let the other one do as they please and be as they like. We are a good pair not because we are alike but because we support one another in our differences.
We know it is the simple things are most important to keep in mind- like which “side is up.”
I may not feel like I live in two places but I know for sure that we are loved on both sides of the country and that is all that matters.
Often we don’t realize how amazing a thing was till the years have polished it, showing us its true beauty.
Our trip back home was such an occasion- it was the last time I hung out with my dad and I am even more grateful now than ever before that we did.