For the first time in the better part of five years, I spent some time away from my home and partner and kids. A trip to Toronto to visit friends, all by myself. No one else’s baggage to keep track of, no one else’s oxygen mask to in an emergency, no one’s daily survival needs to consider except my own (and those of the very grown-up and lovely friends I was visiting, but they, as it turns out, survive quite well without my help and assistance on a daily basis. I know, right?! Amazing!).
I stayed up late, late, late into the night talking and drinking and catching up. I drank far too much. I peed by myself. And not by fluke. I mean ALL WEEKEND LONG! Multiple times! I showered by myself. Long, luxurious, uninterrupted showers. I basked in the sun on patio after patio with good friends. I traipsed, I shopped, I toured, I saw an art exhibit done entirely on iphone and ipad, I got a mani/pedi, I went to the TO Women’s Bookstore (which is in danger, as always, of closing. C’mon TO – support your local bookstore. Jeez! ) I ate amazing veggie sushi (which is pretty much a non-entity over here in the land of Redneckville and was so effing good I could’ve eaten it for every meal all weekend long), I drank too much (oh wait, I already said that one. Well, it probably bears mentioning again.) I watched a movie I’d been meaning to see for a year. I talked about grown-up things. I had time to think and be in my own head. It felt so incredibly decadent and self-indulgent.
I spent Thanksgiving dinner having French martinis and nachos with a good, good friend on a patio overlooking Lake Ontario. And being so, so, ever so thankful. But perhaps not for the reasons that might normally come to mind at Thanksgiving. Yes, of course I was, and am still, thankful for the abundance of love and support in my life. Thankful for my beautiful, wild little munchkins who thrill me and challenge me and fill my heart to brimming on a daily basis. Thankful for health and home and hearth. For living in a country that affords me many rights and privileges so many others lack. The list goes on…
But most of all, and maybe for the first time ever, I was consciously (and knowing me, self-consciously), thankful for me. The grown-up, full of grown-up dreams and needs and thoughts me. The outside world me. The stand on my own two feet without anyone else’s help or direction me. The me that I remember from that time before I became this entity called “mom,” and maybe even from the time before I became this entity called “wife.” The me that thought about me first. I remembered that me. It honestly felt a bit like wearing a stranger’s skin for the first little while. But I got pretty damn comfy in that skin.
And you know what? That me chick? She’s pretty fucking awesome. (And possibly just a wee small bit of trouble).
This Thanksgiving, I am ever so selfishly grateful for her return. I hope she sticks around.