Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Splitting the Baby

I’m sitting in the Salt Lake City airport waiting for a flight to go home.  I use the term home carefully here because I have two.  I have one where I grew up, in which my parents have lived for 35 years.  My other home is in Flint, in a house I’ve lived in for 10 years that contains my partner and three small boys.  The bond there is unbreakable.  But I’m sitting in Salt Lake City, in neither home, and because of a mechanical delay, I nearly spent the night here. 

Since making my reservations to spend Thanksgiving with my parents, sister and grandmother, I’ve felt like Solomon splitting the baby, nearly ending up with neither. (I better be careful since I’m still in Salt Lake.)  Why, you may ask did I leave my Flint family for California?  That’s a question with a complicated answer I won’t bore you with.  Suffice it to say that Thanksgiving is very important to my parents and I really want to see my 103 year old grandmother. 

Next you might ask, why I didn’t bring my Flint family.  That, too, is a long answer, but the short answer is that I didn’t want to travel with the boys on the busiest flying day of the year so they could see their great-grandmother for 30-minutes in which they will barely interact.  Does that sound callous?  Maybe.  Having just made the family trip to San Diego in August for my parents’ 50th anniversary, I just couldn’t do it again – even though the boys are great travelers.  I know my partner didn’t want the adventure. 

So here I am, looking out a bank of windows onto darkening snow-covered hill wondering if by trying to please everyone a little, I’m pleasing no one.  I’m sure my California family wants to see my Flint family, and my Flint family wants me there with them.  Every small child I see, and there are lots of them, make me wish I were home, waking with Twin M breathing softly on my face.  There is no right answer for me.  I suspect no one will be completely happy.  I really want to see my grandmother.  Did I write that?  I won’t have many more chances to see her.  But at approximately 4 am this morning (EST), my youngest woke up wanting water and burning with a fever.  So for the next three hours, I slept and woke restlessly knowing that I was now not only leaving Superwoman with three small boys, but with one who has a serious fever. 

I still left.  I had to drag myself out the door, and when I realized I forgot to bring a shirt I wanted, I almost turned around and drove back for it – the 45 minutes back home.  When my plane was delayed out of Detroit, a part of me wished I wouldn’t be able to make it to California so the decision would be made for me.  But I made this decision and I’m living with it.  I’ll have many, many more Thanksgivings with my boys, but not as many with my grandmother.  Did I mention I wanted to see her?

So here I am in Salt Lake City trying to figure out how I got here. 


  1. Fevers go away, but so do Grandmas. You did the right thing. After my husband saw his Grandma this summer, he had the very strong impression he wouldn't see her again. He savored those last few days with her, watching her with his children. She died this month. Time goes too fast, sometimes, and we have to split, but you made a good call.

  2. @Judaloo: I'm sorry to hear about your husband's gradmother. He is lucky to have spent time with her.

    I think mine was the right decision, but it was a hard one. I know my grandmother won't be with us much longer and I just don't get to see her that often. It was a real pleasure to see her. Thanks.