One of my favorite movies from the ’80s was “Stealing Home” with Jodi Foster and Marc Harmon (really, its a must-see). Marc Harmon’s character goes home after the death of his childhood friend (Jodi Foster) and the movie is based on flashbacks of their lives growing up together. One of his favorite memories was when the two of them used to sneak into backyards of neighbors and jump into their pool and touch the bottom of the pool. It was a pure, sweet childhood memory that always made him smile.
This is a phrase I adopted after I saw the movie. Whenever I need a reality check in my life, I “touch the bottom of the pool” by going back to something that grounds me and reminds me of who I really am. These past two weeks, I have touched the bottom of the pool by going home and remembering what my life is like here in AZ. While I have gotten to do some fun things with friends, I have mostly re-connected with my kids and their lives. And now I’m ready to go back on the road. Seriously. I have forgotten how exhausting my life is here.
Yep, I know that I have said how exhausting it is getting up at 5 a.m. and schlepping stuff onto a bus and riding for 8 hours for a one night stop in a town. BUT, I forgot how much more tiring it is to take care of my kids and my house and their schedules. And my husband (who is still suffering from his cold. Save Ferris.)
I have tried to help Lauren with her 4th grade math, which as I recall in my day involved multiplication of large numbers, but now involves trigonometry and geometry and also includes some problems that I swear were on my Bar Exam. I have been googling “circle diameter vs. radius” to try to help her.
Aidan, meanwhile, is quite clingy, and while I realize that he knows I’m leaving soon, I would like my quiet time, and my leg back, please. He is quite precocious, answering the home phone and using a fake voice to pretend it was me that answered the phone (I apparently have a very high pitched voice), and he has now officially started calling me “mom on tour” instead of mom (as in, “mom on tour? Can I have more apple juice, please?”) He and I took a 3 mile bike ride this weekend and, at the end, he unfortunately fell into a cactus (one of the many hazards of living in Arizona, including, but not limited to: scorpions, snakes, coyotes and giant haboobs, which sound very sensual, but are actually giant dust storms.) Lucky for us, a friend passed by who is a doctor, and he helped pull out the cactus prickers from Aidan’s hand. He told Aidan not to worry, he is a prick doctor, and he knew what he was doing (he is, by the way, a male urologist.) So, there you go. Your humor for the day.
Sam, meanwhile, spent his “golden day” in the Everglades holding crocodiles and then headed to Miami Beach for some sailing. He face-timed us tonight while wearing his giant, white fluffy robe that the Westin Ft. Lauderdale staff laid out for him on his freshly made bed. He will sleep in, and have a buffet breakfast, before heading out to do two shows. It was then that it hit me. Life on the road is much, much easier than this life I got going here in AZ. The times that I was working out in the hotel gym and catching up on The Good Wife after my quiet shower where no one peeked in to tell me they wanted breakfast, that was the reality I was craving. Not this wacky nonsense of taking care of others.
And so, while I wind down my last week here at the bottom of the pool, I am comforted by the fact that I will come up for air on Friday. I will dry myself off and get dressed in an outfit other than my normal “workout chic” mom look and I will channel myself back into my previous roadie likeness. Before I left to come home this time, I had a big hippy-chic look going. Shopping around in college towns, you end up buying incense and beads and also dangling earrings with trees of life on them. I’m wearing “I love life” bracelets and “Just Breathe” t-shirts. I’m a whole different gal on tour. Gone is Lulu Lemon tennis skirt-wearing Jewish doctor wife/mom, bring on the peace sign short-shorts and clogs.
I will steal a little bit of home with me when I go, and keep it near to my heart for the 11 days I’m gone, but I will also remember as I leave to enjoy the alone time as much as possible. Because once I get home, “mom on tour” isn’t going to be able to go to the potty alone to read Entertainment Weekly for another two weeks.