cafe mama

entering the mind of the married mom

travelling woman, mama . march 23 . 2006

I'm travelling for work; I've left the boys at home with their daddy. And everything seems to be going fine (despite my fears, I'm even doing o.k.) - except. Those milk ducts.

Despite relatively frequent pumping, my breasts, they are on fire. It's coloring everything I do. I got only four hours of sleep last night, for instance. Am I tired? Nope. I'm perky and sharp-witted. But these milk producers, oh how they distract me.

I've been making a whirlwind tour of my old stomping grounds. Today, I took the train from Princeton Junction to Washington Union Station, a lovely excursion past run-down buildings and trailer parks and swamp land and endless trainyards and water towers and a graffiti-ed train station just north of Philly that I have adored for years. We drove down Pennsylvania Avenue, and my heart squeezed for the majesty of it all, down hwy 66, then to the toll road, past Reston and Herndon and turning on Sterling Road and then Waxpool... the route I'd travelled hundreds upon hundreds of times.

AOL headquarters are at once familiar and strange. It was five years ago, now, that I worked less than a mile down the road. I visited the AOL office once or twice. I remembered it, the conference tables made of recycled internet CDs, the mod cubicle design, yet now I was walking through the halls as an employee, juxtaposed into a new career that fits like a glove yet is so strange and disconnected from the old one that once kept me driving down these Virginia roads.

As I thought about how much Everett would love this ride, I felt as if I'd come this way before, thinking much the same thing. But my last time on Amtrak was five years ago, before Everett was conceived. I wondered at that - how I remembered this train trip as a mama, even though I'd never done it in my maternal state. And, really, I'm finally reclaiming my travellin' self as a mom. It's deliciously fun to travel but I see it now through the eyes of my children. Everett would want to see that double-decker train, I think. How would this mod couch work out with Truman climbing all over it? I wonder.

I love this, and it's not so much that I miss my children terribly as that the world is now colored with their perspective, with their zany dramatic (Everett) and zen happy (Truman) selves. I'm different, now.

And damn it. My breasts HURT.