Sunday, June 19, 2011


It took 40 hours but Harry finally arrived in Buenos Aires last night just past midnight. He was greeted by his lovely and warm hosts, who apparently said, "Welcome home, Harry!" He sounded exhausted but quite happy when we talked to him last night at almost 2 am Argentina time.

Throughout his ordeal at Dulles International Airport he kept such a cool head, it was astounding. His plane took off 15 hours late and through it all he was riding the wave, just dealing with it like a pro.

Oh, and texting his mama.

I had a deja vu moment yesterday morning. He texted me at 6:45 am west coast time to tell me he was finally boarding the plane. We texted back and forth for a couple minutes and then he found out that they'd changed their minds, there was some mechanical difficulty and everyone needed to sit down. Though it was probably the hardest moment for Harry (he had stayed up all night long and was totally and completely exhausted), he sat down and waited. We texted back and forth on and off until he actually did board (at 11:45 am), buckled himself in and shut his phone off.

At that moment I realized it was just like a morning about a month (to the day) ago when Ben and I had texted back and forth for a few hours until the moment he was wheeled into surgery at Shriners Hospital. It felt so familiar, the light-hearted chit chat, the reassuring comments I would make, the palpable nervousness on their ends, but the good humor throughout it all, the fact that they both came to me, their mama, in this time of anxiety and anticipation because that was safe haven.

I love that. I love this technology. I say "bah" to all the folks out there who judge the texting generation as not being connected enough. I don't believe it. Those "textversations" are real and deep and would have felt awkward and irritating if we'd had them on the phone. Somehow the silences between comments don't add up the same way in a textversation as they do on the phone. I suspect if we only had the phone we wouldn't have talked for an hour and a half.

And you can't do the cute little emoticons if you're talking to someone, either. ;)

I also love my relationship with my boys. I love that they open up to me, want to be with me during those times, text me. Me! I love that we are so connected and I am their safe harbor. It's a wonderful role to have and it's really all about the relationship.

I urge you to read Harry's blog: Don't Laugh at Me, Argentina. He's quite amusing and has a strong voice. He's already devoted to filling us all in on the details of his life across the equator.

Today, on Father's Day, I am thinking of my father, of course, and feeling bittersweet about Harry's trip. It's a trip my father would have been so thrilled to observe. He would have read each of Harry's blog posts with a huge smile and a large and loud chuckle at the end. He loved good stories, especially about foreign ports, dashing young men (dancing tango?) with sexy young women. Harry's story would have fed him immeasurably. Today I am feeling the space my dad left behind this past year...and am still baffled by the fact that he won't be coming back. I really keep having this sense that he's just on a long vacation...out to sea in a way. But, I remind myself, he's gone...the final voyage, I suppose.

I won't be writing much in the next few weeks [we head off to a LARP campout tomorrow (until Thursday) and then send Toby off to Camp Tawonga on Sunday, Ben to Nana's house and Mark and I head to Rancho Pescadero for our 20th anniversary celebration week], so check on Harry at the link above and I'll catch you back up when I can.

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