18 hours for love


On Friday night, I got to see Cedar play at the Eaux Claires Festival. When we had talked, before his trip, about whether or not I would go, we agreed that us both being out of town at the same time right now was logistically impossible. But, as that afternoon wore on, I realized how badly I wanted to be there with him. I couldn’t stop thinking about it. So I (miraculously) figured out a childcare plan and, like any good enough mother, I cancelled Olive’s occupational therapy, packed an overnight bag and hightailed it all the way to Wisconsin.

I wore the hottest thing I could find from what I had packed to stay at my parents house, and then borrowed my mother’s bright red lipstick.

It was like old times. Getting to see the love of my life do what he loves most. Being in it together, not a syringe or roll of medical tape in sight. Listening to him play live with a band that I have loved ever since 2008, when I listened to For Emma, Forever Ago while I lived alone in a one story house. I used to play it on repeat in the kitchen while I cooked myself dinner. I was heartbroken then and sun kissed, in my 20’s. I felt like that album was made for me.

The festival was like a musical summer camp in the woods, minus the counselors. In order to get in, you have to hike down to the stages through a tree lined trail. It is overlooking a bright blue river.

I got to hear James Blake, under the stars, while the rain poured down in the middle of a field. There were thousands of people all around me, in front and behind me. I don’t think I will ever forget the face of the woman standing right next to me—she looked like she was on the best drug, dancing with her face tilted up at the sky. Her hand instinctively went to her chest, right over her heart. She held it there, singing. The whole night was mind-blowing. I felt the way she looked.

I didn’t feel the way that woman looked the next day, because I didn’t get very much sleep that night, for all kinds of reasons, most of which were not debaucherous in the least. I had to get up early and get on the road back to my parents house to those children of mine.  I was gone about 18 hours total.

E. had caught a bad cold and had started coughing so much that she threw up in the middle of the night. I have to say, I wasn’t sorry to have missed that. I would like to live in a world where no one in this family throws up, at least for a long, long time.

Cedar got home late last night, finally. Today we are all back together and as tired as ever, with E. waking at 10, 11, 1, 3, etc. The nurse who was going to help with the transition this morning cancelled because her cat is sick, and here we are again right back in it, just the four of us.

We still went out to brunch together (and once we got our coffee, it was great, although the meal was preschool-ish in length), worked a little on our mini flower garden and made some bouquets (of course, great), went grocery shopping (no one cried), tried for some naps (mostly, fuhgettaboutit) and got to have a sweet and relaxed dinner with our new-ish friends from A.’s Montessori school, which included some mean Moscow Mules (yes and yes, the best part of the day).

We have a good and sometimes stressed out life here together. It’s buckets of work right now, especially while chasing E. around, hovering near those tubes that are about one scoot away from being yanked right out of her abdomen. We have to helicopter around, one arms length away at all of her waking hours, adjusting the tubes, making sure she isn’t getting tangled up in them as she moves around the house to prevent another trip to the ER.

I’m so glad Cedar is home, because I couldn’t do this alone. While he was away, I remembered almost everything about why I love him. I wrote almost, because long-term love is full of some of those starry eyed nights, and also, requires a good amount of grit.

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