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 who I might be seated next to. I still have this same anxiety today.
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 children and eleven ten years later.
Yes, you were eight years old, the same age as L.
We had spend 3 days in Dallas with our best friends from Germany so when it was time to leave, both you and Heather hated to part. Two peas in pod, both 8 years old. That is when Judy and I decided, you could spend more time together.
When it came to packing up, you chattered like a constantly pulled string doll. Excited, anxious and wow, wound up. When Judy called that night to tell me you were crying, I couldn’t believe it. We talked and you decided everything was OK. You did calm down, loved it there and this time was ready to come home when your visit was finished. Once you arrived, you ask how I knew to write you a letter. Not that I remember exactly what I told you, but it was something like how I wanted to surprise you with a letter, wished you lots of fun and something about how special you were.
You sister was so funny on the way to the airport to get you. That is when I learned, she had “Happy Toes.” They were so happy to see you, they could dance and dance. I nearly drove off the road laughing so hard. She also had “Happy Teeth.” I looked in the mirror as she said “See,” while smiling. Again, trying to stay on the road.
Great memories indeed.
By Marlene on 2012 10 26