I wrote this super cheesy post back in 2003 about how I thought I had the “Dog Spirit.” You know the one where a pregnant 28 year old fanes poetic about her free spirit that is about to be leashed to years of diapers and saying, “Do Not Take Off Your Clothes In Public.” (I assume this includes the teenage and college years.)
It’s not a new theme in my life: Traveling. It’s not something that just sort of showed up one day in my head where I said, “HEY! Let’s go somewhere!” No, the more I analyze (and by god I analyze) my desire, nay, need to get off the continent as frequently as possible, I realize it started early in my childhood, right down to how poorly I do travel and how often I crave it.
I remember my first solo plane ride. I was seven? Eight? (Mom, help me out here.) I went to Dallas (from Houston Hobby) to visit some family friends. I was going to see a girl of my dad’s best friend, someone that I got along well with. I remember being freaked out, NOT that I was traveling on a plane alone or hundreds of miles from my family, but that I might be seated NEXT TO A MAN.
No, seriously, I bugged my host family with this information. “PLEASE do not make me sit next to A MAN on the way back. PLEASE.”
I dunno, y’all. Analyze at your will. I’ll be bringing this up in therapy.
Anyway, my mom sent me some mail that arrived during my stay. I remember starting to miss her and I remember getting the letter. Judy handed me something and said, “This is from your mom. Arrived in the mail today.” I have no idea what the note said, something of insignificance, but at the end my Mom signed it, “Love ya, Mom.”
I remember that sign off. THAT is the thing I remember from that letter. The casual “Love Ya” after a note that smelled like home. I remember crying at that note and I remember Judy (and her daughter Heather, my friend) wondering why I kept reading it if I was just going to cry. But clearly they didn’t really know me yet.
This is what I think of now when I travel. There are two truths to my travels: 1. I am the mother now and send the “love ya’s” to my children to their email boxes which utterly blows my seven year old mind and 2. I’ve been traveling for a very very very long time.
Thus, and so, in conclusion, and such, I can picture myself at seven, or twenty-seven, going somewhere, anywhere, with my head out the window and my spirit soaring. My dog spirit, as I wrote, is still very much alive; Two puppies later.
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