Adventure: Run-of-the-mill Edition (Part 2)

As mentioned in my previous post, adventure comes in many forms – not always requiring money or travel or high risk activities. The second recent example? Came at me like a spider monkey, with an infectious giggle, knocking me over and completely taking me by surprise.

Exhibit B: The Girl came home earlier this month, flying through Ataturk airport a day after the bombs went off. She and her husband both made it, with only a few minor travel complications. A travel annoyance for us, but no complaints given what some were dealing with at the time…

The Girl will be here for a month, but her husband, Metin, could only take two weeks vacation. Since The Boy couldn’t take time off before his block leave starts at the end of the month, the only way for the two of them to meet? Go west! Bought tickets, and launched a family road trip for me, Studley, The Girl and Metin.

Travel logistics were challenging, but we made it work, and arrived for the 4th of July weekend. New this visit? The Boy has a girlfriend. A Serious Girlfriend… and she has a baby. Max is a little over a year old. Part of this visit was to meet Serious Girlfriend and Max, while getting The Boy together with the brother-in-law he had yet to meet.

We were on the move most of the weekend, planning to spend the night of the 3rd in a small western town in Colorado. They do the 4th in a big way, and The Boy was marching as part of the color guard with some of his mates from Ft. Courage. The plan was to have the four of us – The Girl, her husband, Studley and i get hotel rooms, and The Boy was to travel with his battle buddies, and stay with the parents of a friend.

Getting a room in town proved difficult, but i snagged two rooms at a historic boarding house. And by ‘historic’ i mean shared bathrooms, original wall décor, original dust, paper-thin walls and no amenities. Partway through the weekend, The Boy asked if it would be ok to have Serious Girlfriend and Max join us for the overnight excursion.

“Sure! We’ll make it work!” i tried finding another room, but no luck. The Boy said they could probably crash at the home of his friend. i offered that we could stick three in a room if needed. Lodgings for The Boy and Serious Girlfriend were somewhat in flux, but he was pretty sure they’d be able to find a place…

And that’s when it happened… The following words escaped my face: “Studley and i can keep Max in our room. You two can just go hang out with your buds and we’ll figure it out…”

A baby. It has been 25 years since i have changed a diaper. i generally don’t like babies. If anyone asks me “Would you like to hold the baby?” i say “Not really! i’m good.” i did ok with mine when they were small, but enjoyed them far more when they became toddler/pre-schoolers…

So what the fuck was i thinking?

Max is a pretty cute kid, and Serious Girlfriend a good mother. When i first met them, The Boy started cracking up when i got into a prolonged Peek-A-Boo game with the giggling boy. “Look at that! She’s gone into Hyper-Grandma Mode!”

We set up a portable playpen in our tiny boarding house room. Serious Girlfriend got Max settled, and they were off. Studley and i looked at the sleeping boy. Looked at each other. “What the fuck are we doing? Is it like riding a bike?” Turns out it is, but there’s slightly less risk of getting a concussion, or ending up with gravel embedded in your knees…

Studley and i slept lightly – both of us a little unnerved at the responsibility of a baby. A baby we just met a couple of days before! Max woke up a few times and mostly got himself back to sleep, requiring only a little pat on the back and a fresh diaper…

Other than catching myself talking to him like i would talk to my dog (“Who’s a good boy?”), it went well. A sign of a happy kid? He woke up in the morning, and just started rolling around, chattering happy chatter to himself, while playing with his sleepy toy.

i’m proud of my children – both living lives of deliberate choice and handling their own shit. As fun as it was to visit with a little critter, i’d probably consider myself a failure as a parent if my children expected me to raise their spawn.

Not quite “Hyper Grandma Mode”, but i did really enjoy it. It was definitely a stretch for me – WELL outside my comfort zone. Since heading home, i have caught myself looking forward to seeing Max again. The Boy and Serious Girlfriend, too, of course…

Me and Max

Adventure takes many forms – be willing to venture into new territory…. Even if it’s a trip that isn’t on your bucket list.

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21 thoughts on “Adventure: Run-of-the-mill Edition (Part 2)

    • Thanks! Took me completely by surprise, and it was a delightful surprise! Not only is Max adorable, his mom is pretty awesome, too! i haven’t seen The Boy smile that much in years!

    • It was a busy run, for sure… The Girl ended up with a blood clot from all the time on planes, and in cars, but it is resolving well, and she’ll be ok. This entire visit has been an exercise in resiliency… we continue to bounce with whatever comes at us!

    • It was fun! It didn’t hurt that he’s an absolutely charming kid! The pic i took? Everyone else had gone into a store for beer (for our drive up Pike’s Peak) leaving me and the critter in the car. Max was getting fussy in his car seat so i turned him loose, turned on some music, and let him play with the camera on my phone…

      It’s been a wild run on the travel. With both of them scheduled to fly through Istanbul after the bombing, i was puckered. The Girl said there was still broken glass when she went through the next day, but the airport was operating reasonably well.

      We were watching the news together here when the coup attempt happened. He was on the phone with his brother, and The Girl was tracking messages on social media to find out what was happening. We were astonished that Metin’s flights were on time about a day after the coup attempt and martial law. He’s home, and safe, and other than a long term political struggle ahead, with an authoritarian toad, things are steady there…

  1. Many forms indeed! How did it feel having the “G” word tossed in your direction?

    Glad the travel complications weren’t too heinous. I thought of Girl and spouse when I heard about the bombing. And the attempted coup.

    • Not a fan of the ‘g’ word as it applies to me. i adore my children, and am proud of them, but have never defined myself by their accomplishments. Same way with their spawn, and integrated spawn, i think. Will see how this goes with The Boy. It’s a real thing with them, and i am so happy to see his smiles! Never thought i’d see him this happy…

      We’ve been nervously joking about the timing of events… and wondering what the hell will happen when she’s about to fly back. Alien invasion is on the short list…

  2. What about Mr. Pickles? What happened to him in your absence?

    You don’t seem the Hyper Grandma type but I guess you never know. I never thought I’d be a father but NOW look at me! Neck deep. You’ll be, too.

    • Mr. P is holding steady! Goal was to keep him comfortable so both kids have a good visit with him – he has a good cardiologist. Yes. A cardiologist for a damn dog… I’m lucky I don’t have to worry about what this is costing, but I am sad that my dog is getting better health care than some of my friends… We’re still looking at ‘weeks not months’, but he’s 15, and has had a very good run. It will break my heart, but I refuse to let this beautiful boy suffer…

      Definitely not the hyper grandma type, but I am loving seeing my son happy… completely unexpected, but total joy! The kid is a bonus! Life has a way of sneaking up on you like that…

      • I was hoping the whole ‘sneaking up on you’ would come to an end eventually but maybe it’s a constant.

        My dog has a behaviorist. That’s worse than a cardiologist. It’s now on two different meds; both inexpensive, thank Bog. It had better hope it never needs extensive, expensive care or it’s done for.

        • It is a constant…. I remember being completely de-railed in my 30’s by things that would now be gentle annoyances (mostly at work). A case where a the jealous ex-girlfriend of a co-worker was harassing me would now pale in comparison to the whacknuts that have come after me in recent years… I think we get better at dealing with this crap the more we endure it…

          Your dog is a very lucky dog. Some animals are hard to love, and require serious rehabilitation. I’m not sure I’d have had the patience your wife and children have for such a beast… Might have tried re-homing the little bastard…

  3. First thing i thought when i saw that craziness in Turkey was “i hope Daisy’s daughter is okay”, sounds like everyone is better than okay… i know that sleeping lightly thing, i used to sleep like a rock, now? every little noise still wakes me up to listen to make sure the boyos are fine, keep up the good work lady, you have a lot be proud of…

    • Near term, they are both fine – as is his family, and their friends. Long term? It’s not looking good for the future of the secular democracy. Arrests, and teachers being fired. Academics being prevented from leaving the country. Does not bode well for the future of the country… I’m happy there wasn’t protracted violence, and that more weren’t wounded or killed. at least not yet…

      I remember being so tuned to the baby monitor when mine were young… Now? I’ve put jingle bells on my old doggie so that when he gets up in the middle of the night I can hear him. I don’t get many nights of solid sleep these days. Sort of like having a baby at home… and it’s only temporary, so i’ll deal with it…

  4. Babies frighten me, and no, I don’t like children either — with three exceptions of course! Offering to help with refugees is way out of my comfort zone too, for some absurd reason. So kudos for you for getting through both successfully.

    I assume Metin is sufficiently anonymous in Turkey to not appear on the long list of the purged (God, it sounds like the return of Stalin over there at the moment). And Erdogan’s ego has chucked away any hope he might have entertained of joining the EU.

    • I think that’s a better descriptor – it’s not that I don’t like babies, I’m a little bit afraid of the responsibility for such a helpless human. One that isn’t mine is terrifying! The refugee resettlement work is not that scary – the social service organization out front really does the heavy lifting. I’m just hands and wheels…

      He is safe, as is his family. No strong political affiliations, and very low on the radar. It’s going to be ugly there – moving backward, away from Ataturk’s beloved secular democracy. Teachers being fired, and a ‘state of emergency’ – which includes measures to keep academics from leaving the country? What kind of emergency requires you to keep your professors at home?!?!?

      By the way – have tried commenting on your recent posts, but once again am getting stuck somewhere in the ‘anti-spam’ cycle. Still following your adventures…

  5. Cute kid. I’m dreading the day when my son announces that he’s gonna be a daddy (he’s 23), ’cause I’m not too good when it comes to kiddies under the age of five. Why? ‘Cause I’m a scary looking guy at first glance, but very charming once they get to know me.

    • I’ve been amazed at the transformation of my “Wild Child”. He’s talking about porches, and yards, and swing sets… no mention of a minivan, but it is now within the realm of the plausible!

      Sometimes small children are better able to accept people as they are… they haven’t had a chance to build up stereotypes of what is scary and what is ‘normal’… you may not be quite as frightening as you think!

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