I think we’re all surprised at how well we’re adjusting to our current situation up north. I think we were all a bit nervous about this seasonal change. Well, all of us except Marlowe. I think she’s a bit too naive to understand how such a sudden shift in seasons can really affect you. Even my mom, while excited to have us here, was nervous too.
But here we are, a few weeks into our stay in Massachusetts, and we’re surviving. Only one winter melt down behind me, and I’m surviving. Marlowe and Alex may even be borderline thriving. I still miss the sun and heat too much to ever thrive here. Emotionally, I’m doing a hell of a lot better than I had been when we first made it here. The sting of the miscarriage is significantly dulled. We haven’t talked about it over here, and that’s fine. I think now that the pain is passing, theres no reason to discuss it much now. I just want to focus on the people I do have in front of me, instead of worrying about what I can’t have.
And I like what I have.
A whole lot.
While the internet/ social media can be deceiving on what life really looks like, I’m not going to lie to you and tell you that I’ve been out on these grand adventures here in New England. I certainly haven’t. I’ve been mostly homebound, healing. And with these temperatures (12 degrees F now and -2F tomorrow) I have no desire to leave the house. With the exception of the day we cut the tree (the first snow) and day where Alex and I attempted the Boston outdoor market, I haven’t been outside at all. From car to other homes or buildings yes, but not outside. It’s just too cold for my bones.
I think whats helping me right now is having something to look forward to. I wasn’t sad about leaving Guatemala, because I had something to look forward to: nesting and prepping for a baby… and then, well, a baby. And when that all crashed, and we had no plans in front of us, I felt lost. I’m not by any means a huge planner. Alex jokes that my favorite phrases are, “I’m not worried about it” and “we’ll figure it out” and he’s right. That couldn’t be more true. We’ll figure it out. But with all the big changes we had this past season and absolutely no plans look forward to, I felt lost. Making travel arrangements this week helped. We also changed our plans a bit more too… but WE chose to change them, life didn’t choose this time.
When we left Guatemala we decided it would be fine, because we could go home mid march when our current airbnb guests left. And then this week, right in the middle of my making huge International travel plans, we received an inquiry for our home to be rented out until June first. I looked right at Alex and said, “I’m fine with it, it’s up to you. This probably stresses you out more than it does me.” And by the end of the day, he decided, “let’s do it.” Like me, he knows, what do we have to lose or worry about? There’s no baby on the way. Marlowe isn’t going back to school this school year, so lets continue to travel the world.
And so we will. Or that’s the plan right now anyway.
As of mid January we’re flying to France. Ridiculously cheap flights, an excuse to see friends, and a good stop to decrease the drastic jet lag of flying across the world. A week and a half or so later, we’ll be flying into Kathmandu Nepal. Again, to see friends, but also, a place I’ve spent my entire life wanting to visit. We don’t have a return flight yet, as we’re not sure where we’ll go from there. Maybe South India or Youth East Asia for two to three weeks. Then my mother’s home for a few days to get over jet lag, before Alex and I take off on our first trip alone without Marlowe since our week in Mexico. This time to New Orléans to celebrate more friends. We planned go home after that, but now? We don’t know. Maybe we’ll spend a few months in South America or South East Asia. I don’t know.
We keep getting asked if we miss the safety and peace that being in the comfort of our own home brings. And I’m not sure if I do yet. We’ve been away from home for about two months now, and none of us seem too lost without it. We love making home, but this path works for now. And not just works, but we know that we’re extremely privileged to be able to take this time to travel together.
I think one of the things that has been on my mind most, is Marlowe in this world travel. Our friends keep telling us that we’re “world schooling” and I guess we certainly are. Ask her about the Mayan language, the altitude of Colombia, kumari princesses of Nepal, or the monkeys of Jaipur, and she can tell you all about them. But the hardest thing for me, and maybe I’m over thinking it, but I struggle with the reality that she might not know how amazing it is for her to travel the world like this.
My first memory of hearing about Guatemala was in first grade when a girl said her parents were married there. I couldn’t tell you where in the world it was. And traveling to Nepal was something I hoped and wished for as a child– but it seemed so insanely out of reach to ever find myself on the other side of the planet. But for her, it’s nothing. And maybe it’s a good thing that the world seems so small and so within reach for her— something that she can manage and care for. But for me, I hope that she can somehow grasp the reality that this is not the norm for most people of the world.
We are lucky.
And maybe this wasnt the plan. But this is working well. I posted this thought on instagram this week, but this is the first time that my brother and I have spent the holidays with my mom in 28 years. I didn’t realize that until this week. My brother and I have spent every childhood winter in south Florida since my parents divorce. And as adults? Well, we both dread the cold and never really made it a point to come up in winter. But without planning it, we both made it up here, together this year. The first time in 28 years. Insane.
This is also the first holiday season Marlowe and I have spent with Alex. He’s been with us a few hours here and there during the holidays, but have spent most of his time in the restaurant kitchen. And I have never, not ever spent a New Years with him. Year after year I spent my New Years with friends, waiting for him to show up sometime around 2 am after getting cut from his kitchen shift. But this year, he’s here.
However we all got here, we’re here.
I wont get my warm (hot) sunshine for at least one more month. France and Nepal aren’t exactly known for their warm tropical weather, but I’m okay with the wait. Right now I’m enjoying the chaos of family. And the forced hibernation of winter. There’s always an upside, even with the downs. And falling into sickness 2.5-3 years ago has surely taught me how to slow down. I would have suffered with the stillness of this season before. But now, while it’s not my ideal, I know how to dive right into this slowing shift.
You know, I guess Marlowe is thriving. The girl who would put on a sweatshirt and sit in the sun to drink a smoothie is thriving. If it was up to her, we wouldn’t travel at all, she’s spend every day at my mothers home. But the holidays will pass, the chaos will slow, my mother will undoubtedly go back to work, and I’m sure Marlowe will be wanting more activity too. She’s been such a trooper this year. And always. I’m grateful for her.
I hesitate to even talk about this, but we’ve been hit a rough patch with our old pup. Jerry’s not doing so well. And with 17 years under his belt, I’m not so sure if he’ll thrive again. And I worry how that will affect her. But we’ll have to see. For now, I welcome the distraction her many cousins around her bring.
I’m working on not over-thinking. On enjoy the inevitable physical and emotional discomfort of winter. On living everyday.
No matter what, spring and summer will come again.