Las Vegas Family Style

2013/06/23

Right after school got out, Xandy and I headed west to Las Vegas to see the newest member of the clan, Sofia Mae. We were hoping she'd wait a bit for our arrival, but she was born a few days before we got there. All well and good in the end. It ended up being a whole family party. My mom had flown from Austin to Las Vegas to stay with Anna a few weeks before and a day after we got there my brother drove out from California with his girlfriend. My dad still lives in Vegas, just a stretch down the freeway from Anna. In fact, my dad got married the week we were all visiting so there was more than one celebration to be had.

Anna is a natural born mom. She is easy going and affectionate and smart and just has her stuff together. It was beautiful watching her ease with Sofie. I was worried I was getting sick when we first arrived (sore throat, turned out to be a false alarm) so I sat on the sidelines for a few days. That vantage point made me really reflect on how far removed I am from those early days of parenting. Mostly a good thing, but the tenderness of those early years I occasionally miss. I am an observer and not always a doer in parenting style, but those new babies force you to engage in a way that I have the luxury of ignoring. For good and for bad.

I had a lot of time to decompress while in Vegas. Remembered how to sleep in. Remembered how to be occasionally bored and remembered how to giggle mercilessly with my family. It was a good trip if maybe a tad long to be gone from home. I started to feel more myself after a year of teaching that definitely removed me from my comfort zone. I had lots of good conversation with my family and that did a lot to move me back to myself - they are good and amazing people every one.

More photos here.

A couple of beautiful side bars to my (long) road trip:

Very last minute, no doubt from the ugly freeways of West Texas (I'm not very good at planning ahead these days), Xandy and I decided to make a stop in Phoenix for the night. I called up my most fabulous friends the Dents and were able to crash in New River with them. It was a definite highlight of my week to lay in the grass of their backyard and stargaze and catch up. Oh those stars...

On the way home, with my mom as a road companion this time (I ditched Xandy in Vegas to play with her friends), I drove through northern New Mexico. Moving through the morning landscape was a religious experience. No wonder Georgia O'Keeffe settled in so tightly there. It was all I could do to not pull over the car every five minutes and try to capture a photo. But that kind of beauty refuses to exist in anything less than real time. A life lesson.

And apparently I hate road trips much, much less when I am doing the driving. I was worried no little amount about the 20 hour drive each way, most of it done by yours truly. But it was not difficult at all. Who knew?

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