On an evening Wednesday walk with Charlie, I realized I was wearing exactly the same clothes I had on when I traveled last to Greece in March of 2011 with nine students.
Aside from screaming 'NO WITE' and being intensely tense for 30 minutes in the last hour of waiting for Jim to return, Charlie handled the evening well, though he clearly was not thrilled to be dadless.
Well, there was also the return of the brownie obsession, a demand to find brownie mix in the dishwasher where we used to hide it and then to go to the convenience store for packaged brownies like the one he by change ate on Monday. Charlie is still having trouble with his stomach what with the antibiotic and his anxiety and it all often manifests itself via food, especially virulently requesting it (he asked for McDonalds as we drove home after getting him a burrito) or eating for reasons other than being hungry (after Jim came back, Charlie had a mega-midnight-snack and then couldn't sleep till past 2am).
Granted, quite a few of members of both sides of our combined family tree have anxiety disorders both actually diagnosed and not. I had something of one when I was Charlie's age myself and have learned (therapy is a great thing, if you're in the right mindset for it) to manage it. Jim, living in a perpetual ADHD state where he can never (as this morning) remember where his keys last ended up, handles anxiety fairly well (also because his mother had a diagnosed anxiety disorder and he was very practiced at allaying her stresses -- I'll always remember her fretting and sitting in her kitchen with the morning show or the evening news playing in the background on the TV and Jim beside her reading whatever newspaper was on the table and laughing and talking -- well, trying to -- her out of things).
And I'm from a Chinese family, how can there not be a food obsession? Like many Asian families, my family is very food-centric, something that was quite apparent when I really got to know my in-laws whose relatives had emigrated from Ireland after the famine and then grown up in the Depression.
Feasting fest or famine culture.
These kind of summarizes two of the extremes in Charlie, and why he more and more seems to so clearly reflect so many aspects of his dual heritage.
But Nauplion. It's Mycenean Greek territory with a medieval era fortress too and I had never been to it on the previous first two trips to Greece and, as it was March in Greece, the air had a chill but was warm just as it was last evening on Charlie's and my walk as global warming has made this a queerly damp, hottish October. While Charlie was having that late large snack I discovered that the travel agency that had set up our trips has gone bankrupt but you know, I could set it up myself now. The travel that I've done has helped me to know who to ask for help, and where and how. Of course now I'm not actually going anywhere anymore that would take me far from Charlie (let's not even imagine the anxiety he would manifest at that!) but in reality, I feel, I know, we're always in a state of travel and transit, always ready in our traveling clothes.