When your village lives far away

My life would make for a horrible sitcom.

Not because I’m not funny. Pffft. Please. I’m super funny. Hilarious, even. And yet humble. Oh, so humble. I’m essentially the love child of David Sedaris and some really humble dude.

And not because my life isn’t absurd. It is. Oh, how it is. The other day I spent 45 minutes sitting on the floor of my bathroom having a deep conversation with a semi-nude toddler about how every Sesame Street character goes potty on the toilet. Yes, even Big Bird.

And not even because I value my privacy. I mean, I have nude stick figure drawings of myself splashed all over the Internet. Come on.

lunch_stick

So while all the elements are there, my life would still make for a horrible sitcom. All because I’m missing that essential element of the quirky side characters.

Not that they don’t exist. They do. And they can quirk with the best of them. It’s just that they live in Ohio or Kansas or Colorado or Texas or Oregon. And whenever we make friends here in Boston, they immediately get a great job offer in New York City or Washington D.C. or somewhere out in the wilds of Connecticut. Or, like us, they have kids and then promptly drop off the face of the planet, drowning in diapers and Double AA batteries somewhere out there in the ether.

Which is how my husband and I turned into Will and Grace but without Jack and Karen (or, to be more accurate, we’re more like heterosexual Jack and Karen without Will and Grace). We’re Monica and Chandler after Season 10. Marshall and Lily if that show reflected reality in the absolute slightest. April and Andy without a Leslie Knope to continually secure us a great local job. Liz Lemon and James Marsden, but really only because I want to be Tina Fey and my husband wants to be Cyclops.

We’re Raymond without his mother. We’re the Brady’s without Alice (and the dead spouses and, like, four of the children). We’re Cougartown with the same amount of wine but only the two of us here to drink it.

There is no Kramer. I’ve seen my downstairs neighbor a total of five times in six years. And four of those times involved a half wave as he drove away in his car. Or at least I think it was him in the car.

No Sheldon. No Schmidt. No Squiggy.

Now, normally this doesn’t really bother me. It’s just the way it is. We moved, we had kids, we turned into sleep-deprived hermits. We see our loved ones’ faces on Skype and stalk them on Facebook and like 32 pictures on their Instagram all in a row. We’re making it work. And luckily, my husband is my favorite person to hang out with and our kids aren’t awful monsters. In fact, depending on how much coffee I’ve had, they can even be close to adorable.

It’s just that recently we had back-to-back visits from both our moms.

And we got spoiled.

Oh god, so spoiled.

Someone else to answer my toddler’s incessant demands for more juice! Someone to make more coffee! Someone to witness and then agree that my screaming baby is being such a ridiculous drama queen today!

We were able to have date nights! We took naps! We had a date night where all we did was take a nap!

And then woke up to more coffee that someone else made!

We got to see how the other half lives. The half that has family and friends close by. The half that doesn’t have to hop on a plane to see their village.

And it was amazing. And it was bittersweet. And it made us realize how hard this whole parenting juggling act is out here on our own.

So, if you have family close by, that helps you and offers support and brings you coffee in the middle of the day, hug them a bit tighter today. Look them in the eye and tell them thank you from the bottom of your heart. And then hand them your kids and RUN.

RUN LIKE HELL.

FAR, FAR AWAY.

And drink a beer somewhere for me.

 

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