[Another shortish and not terribly profound post, I'm sleepy...]
I'm home! I've made it safe and sound! Boy, I tell ya what, my connection in SFO was literally a "last call for Durazo" event as my previous flight from Boston got delayed... heh, nothing quite like the threat of missing that last flight in the leg of a multi-hour journey to get your heart pumping. However, on the going-any-slower-and-it'd-be-in-reverse shuttle from Terminal 3 to Terminal 1, I practiced a mantra as I breathed deeply and actually relaxed in my seat, it went a little something like:
"Relax. How can you, by worrying, change the outcome of this event? Furthermore, how can worrying add a single moment to your life? It is, what is... And what will be, will be."
If you're thinking that sounds familiar, check out Matt 6:25-34. :-) For a while I pretty much had Matt 5 and 6 memorized I read that scripture so often, heh. Anyway, yeah, it was surprising how effective it was at immediately calming me. Maybe it was because I realized it was something totally and completely out of my control, maybe it was because I was wicked tired by that point, but maybe I can choose to think it was a power of the mind over the situation, sort of thing.
IN ANY CASE... I was pleased.
So I got on my tiny puddle jumper and landed safely in SLO a quick 45 minutes later and alas! I was greeted by family of choice, Myla and Ysa! I had been looking forward to seeing them for the past week or so and here it was, finally! The day had come for me to return in all my glory... or something. Not two minutes had passed of me being in the car when little miss smarty pants, Ysa (my 3 yr old niece) says to me, "Chacha, why do you have so much things?" *palm to face* Dangit, child, aren't you supposed to be too young to realize an absurd amount of personal belongings?! Clearly that wasn't the case...
Alas, after a delicious meal (OMGOSH FILIPINO FOOD IS THE BEST. MYLA, YOU AND YOUR MOM ARE THE BEST!!) I tried to get Princess Ysa to lie down for a nap, but after 4 readings of Mr. Bear, it was evident that wasn't going to happen without something special. So I convinced her to snuggle up (totally what I come home for! snuggle time with the kiddos!!) and we played on my iPhone for a couple min while whispering how to catch the mouse in the game, then partook in the age old tradition of story telling. I set the stage but requested the help on a few points. Namely, when asked the name and type of animal Princess Ysa was to ride off to see the magical forest, she responded with "Mike the chicken" (Mike is her dad, also my confirmation sponsor and epically awesome hero on so many levels). And when they encountered a talking animal? Myla the talking lizard. Hah! Kids... man do I love 'em. After some trials and victories involving a talking lady bug who was grumpy because she didn't get to drink hot coco (that was all my imagination, btw), the wee little Ysa lying in the crook of my arm was vast asleep.
And then it hit me-- this afternoon was perfect.
Sure I was tired, and maybe a little groggy cuz of allergies, but getting picked up from the airport by loved ones who weren't even "blood relatives" (a term I'm finding to carry less and less weight these days), fed well, and then that deeply moving bonding time of a nap with biggest loves of your life?! What more is there?! Back at MIT if you were to ask me what I look forward to most when returning home, or even if you were to ask my friends, I'm pretty sure all would report I brag about "my kiddos" (Gabgab 5yr, and Ysa 3yr) and their parents/my mom/three other close friends from here, seeing my cat (maybe sometimes listed first, Sweetpea, I love you so much!), and then eating the good CA produce.
It's my family of choice though that has been so supportive these past couple of years, and a heck of a lot more present than a lot of my own "blood relatives." For that, I am eternally grateful. I love you guys dearly, and I'm oh so excited to see where our futures take us! Rest assured though, regardless, I am so rocking a side ponytail, neon leggings with leg warmers, and wrist bands when I pick the kiddos up from school one day. I am SO gonna be that "ate" (tagalog for older sister, pronounced ah-tay).