Monday, June 23, 2008

A vacation to remember

It's difficult to put into words how significant these past five days have been for me from a relationship standpoint. As I wrote in my last entry, I took last Wednesday through Friday off work to hang out with my family while Bee was recovering from her dog attack injuries and could not drive her car. It turned out to be quite an eventful extended weekend.

Tuesday night after work I took Tara and Bee out to Costco and Borders just to get out of the house for a bit since they had been housebound for most of the past two days. In the evening we watched the Yankees game while I started my book. When it got late, I said goodnight and left to go home. I reached the end of the street when my phone rang and it was Tara, saying that she and Bee had been talking and wanted to know if I would like to stay the night.

I pulled into a parking lot while I tried to digest this news, because I was not expecting something like this quite so soon, which I know might sound strange given how long we've all been together. But in the past when I stayed over, I slept on my inflatable air mattress and now we were talking about me sleeping with Tara in the bed while Bee stayed on the couch, where she usually begins her sleeping every night before sleepwalking her way to the bed. The only other time I've slept in their bed is when Bee and Bug were away on vacation, and that was just for one night (a night unfortunately when I was not feeling all that well). So after talking about it for a bit and getting over the shock, I went home to get my pajamas and a few toiletries before coming back to sleep with Tara in the bed while Bee stayed on the couch. I'm still a little surprised it happened, quite frankly, but I'm glad it did.

The next morning Bug decided to take a day off and join us for an adventure. We started by going to McDonald's for breakfast, and Bee suggested that we might go to the Empire State Building. So we bought our tickets online, printed them at my house and took off for the city. It was a cloudy day, but not hazy, so it would be perfect for sightseeing. We went through an incredibly complicated maze of queues to make our way to the 86th floor observatory. I'd been up there once before, about 10 years ago, and Tara had never been before, so she probably enjoyed it most of all.

Empire State, looking west over the Hudson

We had to hurry back to get Bee to her doctor's appointment, and then I had to get my allergy shot too so I did that at the same time. In the evening we started watching the Yankees game, but I had to actually go all the way back to the city to my office to retrieve my portfolio for a job interview on Friday that I scheduled via Blackberry while we were waiting in line that afternoon, so Bee and Tara came with me back to New York so I could get that.

On Thursday afternoon, I took Bee and Tara to the Passaic County Zoo, nestled in a park with tennis courts, a miniature train, a play area and a carousel. Unfortunately, we got there just a few minutes too late to visit the zoo itself, but took a ride on the train that gave us a sneak peek for our next visit.

Bee and I on the train

Tara and Bee rode on the carousel, but I didn't because the whole park experience called up some painful memories from my former life, a specific visit to the Houston Zoo and Hermann Park. I tried not to let those memories ruin the day though, so we went for lunch at a grill called The Fireplace, where I had a chipotle buffalo burger (yum), and then we went to Tuesday Morning, the closeout store I enjoyed visiting in Houston. I got a few things, and Bee and Tara both got stuffed animals that they fell in love with on sight. We stopped at the big Barnes & Noble for Tara to look for some rare books, which caused a little of the drama to bubble up, but we managed to get through it.

Friday I went to my job interview at a food distribution company in Edison, NJ in the early afternoon, which went very well. We'll have to see if this progresses to a job offer, but all signs are positive right now. When I got back home, Tara and I went out for a special shopping trip to buy her necessities for a future overnight stay at my place, something we've been talking about forever, but I had almost given up hope on ever happening. And it was still uncertain when this event might occur, but we were both hopeful it would be soon, and just the act of shopping for her bathroom stuff and a change of clothes made me happy and optimistic.

Friday night we had our family dinner and movie night because Bee and Tara would be engaged in something else Saturday, so we watched Star Trek: The Motion Picture, which was surprisingly fresh considering its checkered past. When the movie was over, Bee and Bug were dozing off, and I was feeling a little frisky and started making out with Tara. Bee woke up and a little minor drama ensued, but it was resolved with Bee unexpectedly suggesting that Tara stay with me that night. That was a very big move for all of us, being the first time she's stayed over since I moved to New Jersey (although previously she has left my bed in the wee hours of the morning when we've accidentally fallen asleep too long). It was very difficult for Tara (and probably also for Bee and Bug, who are used to having her home) but I tried my best to calm her down and make her feel comfortable. We made love and fell asleep holding each other, knowing for the first time we would not have to say goodbye that night.

In the morning I took everyone out to the diner for breakfast, and we had a very deep conversation about our respective spirit paths and workings we were involved with, which was very enlightening, even if I didn't have much to contribute. I guess my focus these days is more on building my relationships with my family and less about doing inner work on myself. I do intend to get back to my inner work soon, once things are a little more settled with my family. Saturday night Tara and Bee left for their event while Bug and I stayed home for dinner and watched Underworld: Evolution together, which ties in nicely with the Twilight Saga novels we are both reading. She just finished New Moon, and I finished Eclipse later that night after Bee and Tara came home.

And finally on Sunday, we had a bit of a difficult day, the turbulence in the family reflected by the strong thunderstorms that persisted all morning. I came over around lunchtime and read for a bit (starting up the Lucifer series again) and got a few minutes of private time with Tara before we decided to try and see if my pool was open. It was, so Bee, Tara and I went swimming, but a couple near-accidents with the boogie board caused some drama between Tara and I, and spilled over to affect Bee somewhat. The trend continued with some other issues trickling throughout the afternoon, and it made the rest of the evening a bit tiresome and deflating after such a sustained period of good vibes. But we are trying to get better at letting those negative things go and focus on the positive events and progress that we've made over the last six days around the Summer Solstice. It feels very much like a turning point for all of us, like last Memorial Day, like mid-January earlier this year. I feel this is the start of something that will last for a very long time.