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pH balanced

March 27th, 2004 · No Comments

Ted was gone to PyCon and we had our fun. We entertained a few friends and made lots of loud noise right next to Ted’s empty office. We went on day trips to faraway places and came home whatever and whenever it worked for us. We ate plenty of whole wheat potato and pea samosas, tofu fried rice, whole wheat fruit bars and cheese. I turned the lights on in the bedroom whenever I wanted: I didn’t have to worry about waking up Ted.

But I think we were all ready for Ted’s return last night. He had a number of adventures including a cancelled flight:

It wasn’t the worst travel situation I’ve ever been in, but 7 days is the longest I’ve been away from the family since the girls were born. After 7 days of eating at restaurants or out of a box, I was ready to go home….

When I said “Daddy” to Elisabeth on Friday, she held her hand up to her ear: talking on the telephone. She learned to do some new things while Ted’s been away, including walking with her hands on her hips as her older sisters do (from gymnastics class).

Michaela was happy she could go to gymnastics class with Ted this morning. Abigail got excited too about her father’s return.

I can’t complain. Ted works from home. He doesn’t travel often. I’m grateful. But when he’s away, despite my best efforts, it feels a little off.

It reminded me of the ecosystem experiment we tried in seventh grade biology class. In teams of two, we had to take care of a fish in a small tank, maintaining the pH so that the fish would stay alive. Using bromthymol blue indicator, we’d monitor the water each day, checking the color of the test against the chart. If the pH was off in one direction or another, we students had to figure out what we needed to do next to restore equilibrium, such as adding a plant.

When Ted’s gone, the pH is off. Doing day trips, eating dairy and vegetarian cuisines, playing with friends all seem like attempts to restore equilibrium in our little tank. We have fun. It’s not as if I feel anxious or stressed. But it’s not the same as having Ted home.

I didn’t realize the difference until this morning. Ted and Michaela went to gymnastics class for the first time in two weeks. Abigail and Elisabeth played quietly by themselves, content with their toys, without whining or begging for me. I sensed something had been restored. A peace I didn’t know had gone away with Ted. A sense of order and security perhaps. The return of routines.

Ted wrote: But all in all, being home now is much better than being home sometime this afternoon. Whenever he is home, it is better. It is balanced.

Tags: family