Happy birthday, Baby Hank!
I’m so sorry I can’t be there to sing you happy birthday in person, to watch you do that dumb face-cake-smearing thing that babies do, to caper around like an idiot just to see you smile. I’m so sad that I’m so very far away from you, and that I’ll miss so many of the things you do as you grow up. I’m sad that I’ve only seen you walk in photos, videos, and on Skype. I’m so sad, Baby Hank! Your dumb Canadian Tauntie Meg is sitting alone, wearing nothing but a bathing suit, in a silent home in Northern Quebec, and she’s crying (with all these tears, seems the bathing suit was a good idea!).
I’m so happy, Baby Hank, that I DID get to sing Happy Birthday to you. Not just Happy Birthday, but Mahna Mahna, too! And the Beat-the-Box-La-La-La song (that will now be stuck in my head for a while – you have horrible taste in music!). And the Your-Mom-Has-a-Fat-Ass song (okay, so you like some cool stuff, too). Honestly, Baby Hank, I don’t even know at this point if they’re happy or sad tears.
So many things in life occupy the in-between. I’m somewhere between happy and sad. Actually, I think I’m beyond either happy or sad. I’m far, far beyond both. I’m bouyed, overjoyed, and crushed. I’m elated and devastated. I’m…annoyed that I have to keep going back to delete the extra space I leave between periods, or risk alignment issues with my blog post (but you’re illiterate, so what do you care, right?). I’m also pissed you wouldn’t do the clap-clap-clap for me, Baby Hank. Work on that for me before our next Skype date.
There will be many more Skype dates, Baby Hank. Too many, because I had to move far, far away from your home in Oklahoma. But now that you’ve taught your mom to Skype, we’ll chat again soon! (And I assure you that by “chat,” I mean I’ll caper around and look stupid for your amusement. And sing to you off-key. But not as off-key as your mom or Grammie.) Your weird Canadian Tauntie loves you, Hank.
I guess I’ll be an internet person to my sweet Baby Hank for a while. I’ll live only on the computer monitor, where from time to time I can bounce around and say dumb shit to make him smile for a few minutes, until he loses interest, or poops, or cries, or something. On the bright side, I suppose when I finally make it back to Oklahoma for a visit, it will be sort of like a tv star coming to see him. That weird lady on the monitor will step out of the internet and be able to grab him and smooch him and do dumb things for him in person.
It’s hard sometimes. I’d forgotten that for a while, until today. (DAMMIT, Sister, do NOT get sad reading this! Thank you SOOOOOOO much for the birthday boy Skype!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!) I have so much to which I’m looking forward, with a visit to see my husband, a ball in Montreal with my whole Canadian family, a new friend to meet, and an old friend to pick up for fun times in Quebec. But I have so much to which I’m looking backward, too. (Sounds strange when you turn the tables, eh? Normal to “look forward to,” but weird to “look backward to.”) I look back at days I could have visited those I love and didn’t. Moments when we parted ways when we could have lingered longer.
I don’t regret my choice. I don’t really think I made a choice. Not recently, at least. One night, nearly two years ago, I did make a choice. I chose to invite a conversationally-adept Canadian Air Force officer to my home for “one pre-game drink” before he went out to a nearby club for the night. I’ve made some choices since then. I chose to book a vacation with that officer. I did not CHOOSE to fall in love with him on that vacation. But I did. I did not choose for him to have to leave Oklahoma. But he did. I did not choose to move to Quebec. I did the only thing I could. I held on to my best friend. I couldn’t imagine letting go. I can’t imagine letting go.
There are good days. And there are bad days. This day…it’s somewhere in between. Somewhere beyond both.
Bonne Fête, Bebe Hank. I love you. And I miss you. Remember that your Tauntie Meg is a muthafuckin’ internet superstar when she comes to visit you! (I swear, Sister, I’ll learn to curse less, now that he sorta understands some English. But the Your-Mom-Has-a-Fat-Ass song is here to stay.)