Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Between Here and There

Our family decided to spend the week of Thanksgiving in San Francisco this year.  This was a break from tradition for us but I find it becoming harder and harder to arrange schedules so that we can all be together for more than just a few hours, lately.  I decided that if I whisked everyone away to another city, the odds would be greater.  As it was, Angel Daughter Number Two flew up separately on Wednesday and Angel Daughter Number Three had to leave before us on Friday morning to get back to her job on Black Friday.  But it all worked out and we got to enjoy some precious time together as our little family of six.  I am beginning to feel it.  The it that happens when our children get older and start having schedules of their own, plans of their own, lives of their own.  And although I understand that this break is a natural part of my job description, I do not know how to do it without resisting.  I feel pangs of sadness albeit combined with the joy of knowing that my children are becoming what they were always meant to be.  Adults, in spite of my needing them to always be my children.  But I am realizing that we take turns, our children and us, balancing back and forth between who needs who more at any given moment, and right now, I suppose it is my turn to yearn.

At twenty-three years old, Angel Daughter Number One is a very good sport about being whisked away.  Maybe it is because she has been out of our home for the longest that she understands why being together is so important.                                               
And although I know how she tires of posing for photos for me, she still gives in after a bit of balking and eye-rolling.  I think that secretly, she really likes my insistence on recording her history.  However, if I am wrong, I do know that someday she will realize that I was right and she will appreciate having all of the wonderful(yet sometimes annoying) pictures to look back on.  They all will.
Angel Number Three has become either used to, or very good at, ignoring the camera.
Angel Daughter Number Four was thrilled to discover that the airport gift shop was selling Mexican Jumping Beans.  For anyone who has never had the pleasure of owning these little pet pods, they are hard seeds which contain little bugs that live inside of them.  When they move around, the little beans jump.  Hence the name, Mexican Jumping Beans!
The flight to San Francisco was lovely.  Viewing my Pacific ocean through the clouds from above made me appreciate its vast beauty even more.  There is something magical about flying.  I went through a period of being afraid to fly after a particularly turbulent trip into Washington, D.C. about twenty years ago.  AD1 was only about two years old, and I was very pregnant with AD2.  We hit some clear-weather turbulence and the airplane, itself, became a Mexican Jumping Bean!  I'm not sure if it was because I was pregnant and very hormonal, or if it was because I felt like a momma bear needing to protect her young, or because I felt completely out of control that I developed a fear of flying that lasted about ten years after that.  But I had an epiphany that went something like this.  Was my fear, or lack of it, going to prevent any airplane from crashing to the ground in any way?  Was I foolish enough to believe that if I let go of my fear that somehow I could cause an airplane to go down?  And finally, did I trust God?  The most important answer was to that last question.  Gradually, my fear subsided, and although I always recite The Shema(an affirmation of my Judaism and a declaration as to my faith in God) upon take-off and landing, I actually enjoy flying again.  It is a space between here and there.  A time to read, think and daydream.
And a time to observe life from a very different vantage point.  How often do we get to see the moon in between the day and the night?  This photo was taken during dusk of the November Full Moon.  A space between here and there...
Our hotel in San Francisco had a jar of fortune cookies sitting in the lobby.  Each time that Mark, the girls and I would enter, we would take a cookie and read our fortunes.
AD4 and AD2 walking the streets of San Francisco.

Angel Daughter Number One discovered a Christmas tree that was being adorned for the season.  Another symbol of here and there.

The architecture in the city can be fascinating.  So many beautiful, historic buildings.

Angel Daughter Number Three discovered these gorgeous cupcakes in the case of a little French bakery.

They appeared to be almost fake with their pearlized, puffed meringue tops.

We found a little indoor market filled with the most beautiful foods.  I happen to love cheese, so this display was like a work of art to me!
AD3, AD1, AD4, and me in front of The Bay Bridge.  AD2 had not yet arrived.

I will end today's post with a photo of my beloved husband and myself.  I have so much more to share from our trip to San Francisco, but I will do so in another post.  I feel as if I am at a place between here and there.  Between being a full-time momma and being an empty-nester.  Between youth and old age.  Between here and there.  So it is important to remind myself that there is still sweetness in the middle.  It's kind of like an Oreo cookie!  And right now, my life is the sweet, cream filling that sits between the delicious chocolate wafers.  It's all good.

San Francisco post #2, coming soon!


Tracy said...

Ahhh, the mystery revealed...I was wondering what you had been up to and was just thinking of seeking you out but I find you well and happy!
Your daughters are beautiful and it looks like you had a lovely time! the pictures from the airplane window are lovely; especially the moon. Uh, I'd like one of those chocolate cupcakes please :)
Welcome Home!

jojo said...

The hubs and I refer to it as the in-between-ers. Not really parents anymore, not grandparents yet...in-between. It's hard to be in the waiting phase of my life and not know what it is that I'm waiting for!! Just happy to be, to see them grown, healthy, strong, confident...I've done my job and now I get to just be...and that's o.k.

tj said...

...Oh Miss Angel Deb, you are so blessed! To have beautiful daughters to love and who love you and to have a husband who you adore and he adores you...well, it's just beautiful. :o)

...If you don't mind, I'm gonna live vicariously thru you, 'kay? ;o)

...I love the photo of being above the clouds with the ocean below - it looks so heavenly!

...Thanks for sharing your trip with us and "hello" to the rest of the Angel Family!

...Blessings too... :o)

LauraX said...

beautiful, beautiful my friend! Chag Orim Sameach!

Renee said...

What beautiful photos once again..and such fun to see the picture of you and your hubby. I loved what you said about fear of flying and would it keep the plane up in the air...and trusting God? I relate to that myself. And to what you said about your girls being adults and the feeling of not quite being needed the same way, etc. and having their own lives. Our famly now all gathers only once a year and at first that was so very hard...but now we cherish every moment of it and try to make all the moments last til the next time. I put a little photo display on my blog about or recent Thanksgiving 2 day gathering. We are still smiling!

Ness said...

I so enjoy being able to glimpse into your world with the wonderful pics of God's creations and your beloved Angel family. I thank God you're able to make these trips and these memories. Thank you for sharing your world. Love you.

Kathleen Botsford said...

I don't know where to start....Sigh, of course I can totally feel your "pain" at the aging of the Angel Daughters. And I know you understand mine also. I thought I left a comment on your post on Laura's blog...wonderful! (As always) I have had much to write about lately too and lots of photos from our adventure to NYC. But I have been too emotional. I have tried to sit with and anchor each memory inside of myself. I think that is helping me. Kind of like a little meditation. Your daughter most certainly gets her photography genes from you- Your photos always amaze me! And the flying thing...I went through that too. Twice. In fact, I almost didn't have a third child because I was so concerned about who would grab "her/him" in the case of an airplane crash! How silly am I! xoxo

Angella Lister said...

You have such a beautiful family, and the love is so clear. You all have light coming off you. We are doing some of the same things together, you and I, and I am feeling that empty nest twinge quite deeply too. I look normal on the outside but inside I know it's coming and it makes me both happy and sad. Mine are 19 and 16, a boy and a girl, so yes, I do know. I posted a lot about it last summer when my daughter (the 16 year old) was doing a program in Italy and our son was away working. It was harder than I knew it would be and writing it out seemed to be the only way to manage it. You mention it only in passing here, but I can tell it is there underneath, and you are putting on the same brave and grateful face that I am!

Your photographs are just lovely, so rich. I agree that your daughter got her love of photography and her talent from her mama. I am looking forward to coming back here and browsing some more. Thank you so much for finding me so that I could find you!

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