To see a shadow, this means sun

I don't know how it came to be, how I woke up perfectly fine and declined into a hot mess by lunchtime.

Caed crawled into my lap at 6:30, and I joked about how he barely fit anymore. He scrunched up his knobby knees and nestled his buzzed head under the crook of my neck. He told me he dreamed about apes and penguins, how he gave the penguin a banana, how the ape jumped on top of the school bus and asked if it was out of gasoline. His giggles shook my shoulders, and I saw a shadow on the wall of the two of us and the whiskers of the dog begging already for breakfast, and this is the way the day began. 

Bizarre dreams are the best comedy. And to see a shadow, this means sun.

So how did I get here, tears streaming?

I saw my son off to the bus. I took my daughter to preschool, and the dog too, for pet day.  It's hard for moments to hold anything but happiness when doggy tails wag and children squeal. And this is the way the day continued.

But then it came time to play Maine landlord, to make phone calls and pay bills and make arrangements. And it started to rain. I told myself it was raining in Maine too, but it didn't help. Because here we are weeks from summer, and here I am, far from home.

What I need is a new goal, I thought. It's just the let-down of having the half behind me. So I opened a new tab, started searching for another half to run, or maybe a full. Then another tab for maps. I could feasibly add a race in Dayton, Akron, or Erie. Chicago if I really wanted to push it. But no. Inside I'm a toddler banging fists and screaming, I only want to run in Portland! Freeport! Burlington! Boston! And I want to run again with my friends--the ones who pushed and inspired me, the ones to blame for this new found obsession love of distance running.

And it's much more than not being able to register for a race in New England. (It's always more, isn't it?) As summer approaches, so do memories of the past three. And I miss it all so much--the friends, the town beach, the wooded trails, the cliff walk, the rocky coast, the free concerts, the Needham ice cream, the lobster rolls, the big boot.  

It has nothing to do with whether I like it here in Ohio. (I do.) It has everything to do with how much I loved it there in Maine.

So I cried and called my friend. And then I opened yet another new tab, searched Maine vacation rentals. Even for just a week, surely there's a way for me to set foot on the soil of a New England summer? Where there's a will (to endure a 12 hour road trip with two kids and a dog), there's a way--straight across I-90, in case anyone's wondering.

It finally stopped raining here. And I stopped crying 15 minutes ago. I haven't seen the sun yet, but it's probably just a matter of time.

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