If the high-jinx from Thursday's trip weren't enough, we had the perfect topper coming home from a local restaurant on Friday night. As we cut across the train station parking lot on our way home, a carful of boys pulled up alongside and one called out: "There's the mom with her two retards."
I have no idea who these "people' were, but apparently, they knew us.
Hubby, on Long Island, called later that night to ask if I were joining him the next day. Distracted, thinking of a 3-hour drive, I said no.
I spent a nervous night, wandering from room to room, bed to couch and back again, fretting about my sons' futures, wondering if there was a place in this hostile world for any of us, finally falling into a fitful sleep that lasted perhaps a couple hours.
When I opened my eyes at dawn, I felt anxiety where I had previously felt nothing. I stilled myself, listened to the birds, and heard the voice telling me "You are going to Long Island."
I blinked. Gabriel wandered into my room, as if on cue, and curled up next to me. He was fully dressed. "Mom," he said. "So are we going?"
Apparently so, I thought. "Wake your brother, make sure he gets dressed," I replied. I threw on some clothes and put some edibles for the kids together, filled a couple water bottles, and told Nic as he descended, fully dressed but rubbing his eyes, "Find a book and get into the car. You too, G."
So that's how we headed northeast Saturday morning. I called hubby repeatedly and kept getting voicemail. Traffic was light. Miles clicked past quickly as the boys listened to Amelia Bedelia on the CD player and quizzed me about where we were headed, what we were doing, what would the day be like. I really didn't know what to expect, and I had no expectations other than to leave the bullies and name-callers home.
When we connected with hubby, he was pleased. "But you're crazy," he admonished. "On the other hand, I'm glad you're here, so I'm glad you're crazy." Nic rode the elevator at the hotel while I grabbed my first cup of coffee of the day from the cafe. Hubby packed up his car then joined us in the van to head to the party.
Hubby's old boss lives on the Long Island Sound, and to walk through the woods as the landscape gives way to dunes, and finally, cresting over the last hill reveals the beautiful expanse of inlet with the sound opening up to the right. I stood there, amazed and joyful at how the vista alone was worth the drive.
The boys went to work exploring. Nic rescued a horseshoe crab that was stuck on its back and spent the next half hour following it around the beach. G threw stones in the water. Our friends C and F joined us. Hubby came down to watch the boys so I could visit with his colleagues (he grumbled that his old lab missed me more than they missed him and were disappointed that I missed the dinner).
The food and conversation, and exploring on the beach, and later taking the boys over to the University and to some of our old stomping grounds, did so much to heal what was broken in the previous two days. The kids loved it, are clamoring to go back this summer, and are still talking about some of the people we met and things we did.
So this little bit of time out of mind was good for them, too.
Meanwhile, I have 13 days of this school year left to deal with plus a transition in front of me. And as always, I will do my best and pray that it is good enough....