The Space Between The Visits

Husband left again this morning for Vancouver. He’s been able to come home nearly every other weekend since August, and even for longer than two days. What is most difficult is getting used to the warm body beside me, both physically and mentally, and then having him go…again.

We have figured out how to love and protect each other during our time apart. It comes down to desire, really; the desire to love and protect. Whether in London or in LA, when Husband isn’t here I feel just that bit empty; filled to the brim with the boys but empty in my heart because of the ache that takes his place. I have become very precious about our time together and not wanting to waste any of it. Time away from each other highlights everything and for me, it’s emphasizing the ticking clock of LIfe and the need to feel him more often.

It’s been valuable for me to know that I can raise our boys with strength, happy times and fulfillment without leaning on Husband and equally valuable to know why and how I need him. I used to think it empowering to know I could do it all on my own if needs must, but now I find it empowering to realize where I need the help. Oddly enough, as the boys get older, the help sometimes comes from them.

Husband arrives back in two weeks from his last time away in Vancouver, for now, and London awaits us all. We’ve been listening to BBC radio in the mornings on the weekends. The boys love hearing the football updates from English broadcasters and I appreciate how world news is actually about the world and not just Southern California. It’s funny how all of us hold onto our English roots through sound. My IPHONE voice is English; the boys play FIFA with their British counterparts via Skype; our family anthem is Yellow by Coldplay. I don’t think these are coincidences; I think they matter to us all.

In the preparation for the holidays and our family trip back to London, we all get a bit more British. I start making shepherds pie, the boys start wearing their Liverpool/Man U jerseys; Husband connects back to his UK working life and plans are made with friends in London. Christmas there is insane and parties, dinners, teas are all planned way in advance. This will be the first trip back all together without our house to return to. We are renting a tiny one bed flat in Covent Garden and I am convinced it’s going to be fun. Slightly outrageous for all of us to pile in together, but I still have boys who see the adventure in it. Long may that last.

I rely on these trips to feel our Englishness, not American, not a visitor. So far this year that hasn’t happened. It’s all tied to the house rental, I’m certain, so no need for major analysis. I’m just hoping that by staying somewhere completely different, a place that doesn’t resemble a family home but more of a sexy pad, we can all discover other gems of why we love London, feel Engliush, and put them in our back pockets upon our return.

About Jennifer

Jennifer is from Beverly Hills and has lived between London and LA since 1994. She's been a writer for over 20 years in the world of film, tv, travel and magazines and has been a class rep eight times and counting...
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