I spent the weekend in my beloved DC, where Spring has already sprung.

The girls and I had dinner on Saturday night at Il Porto, in Old Town Alexandria. I haven’t been there since 1988, when I was invited by one of the photographers of the Redskinette calendar for dinner to discuss a some potential modeling work.

The weather was warm and wonderful, and we took a nice walk afterward down to the water and then hit some great shops on the way back to the car. I wanted the evening to last longer – so did Susan. We were like two little kids being dragged off the playground too soon by practical parents.

I always experience such a strange transition when I come home from DC. It’s as though I have an entirely different life down there, and I can literally feel myself changing back into “mom” tonight as I sit here typing in my own family room and thinking ahead to tomorrow when my kids will come home. I wonder if it’s possible to salvage any of those DC parts of myself and bring them back up here to NJ.

The best way to describe it is like I’m waking up from a very vivid dream during a deep sleep. You know when you wake up and it takes a minute or two to get your bearings and to realize where you are and that you were dreaming? And how some of the feelings and emotions remain with you for awhile as you make that shift to reality? Eventually, you shake it off, and while you still have the memory of the dream, you are no longer emotionally involved in it. And so it is as I drive from Virginia to New Jersey – it’s like I’m waking up. Tonight I wanted to snooze for a little while longer and continue to enjoy the dream, but at some point after you are fully awake, it’s impossible to go back, no matter how hard you try. All I can do is wait for bedtime to come again and hope I can have another really great dream.

And I wonder who is the “real” me – if I’m “mom” or “Lisa” – and why can’t I be both? Do they have to remain mutually exclusive? I feel so happy when I am “Lisa,” but of course I miss my kids so much.

I’m trying to learn to be grateful where I am (in NJ), but something about Virginia makes me feel more alive and more authentic.

I love to visit my DC.

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