May began with comforting rituals, as it usually does since our wedding anniversary and Mother’s Day are within a week of each other.
Our 10th wedding anniversary was the first time A had ever spent a night away from both of us: I’ve travelled, Andrew’s travelled, but there’d always been one parent or other under the roof. We hustled her with V into my parents’ car at night in Lithgow, all four adults fearing howls and despair, but she smiled like a blissful angel and apparently had a happy weekend, broken only occasionally by solemnly sharing that she was thinking of “my Mummy, Mair-wee”.
Andrew and I spa-ed, walked in the sun, and had a lovely dinner that I’d accidentally booked in Blaxland rather than Blackheath, more than halfway back from the holiday spot to our home. But we’ve always been good at long drives together, and Restaurant Como’s rose and raspberry Eton mess and the audiobook of Seanan McGuire’s Every Heart a Doorway made for a good evening.
The next weekend, another milestone on the slow climb out of young child parenting: we did our usual Mother’s Day walk around Clarkes Point Reserve, where we were married, and the nearby shipyards, and this year A more or less walked it herself. Not before time, I really stagger a far bit carrying her now, especially if she’s recently eaten. Lucky her though; by the time V was her age, I was pregnant again, no carrying at all for him much after his third birthday.
At the end of May, Rob died, just a few days after his birthday and a visit from my father. I flew up to Tamworth on the 27th a few days before his funeral to see parts of my family, and did a lot of food shopping for his wake with my cousin (his daughter), but didn’t stay for the funeral, instead flying to New York on the 28th.
I’ve visited New York twice before, in 2004 and 2012, but both times it was the peak of summer, and the second time I was badly jet lagged, so even though this was a work trip, I felt it was the first time I really had a chance to enjoy the city. I spent almost the entire trip above ground, using the subway only to get to JFK for the trip home, and did a lot of biking.
I’d hoped to circumnavigate Manhattan by bike on the middle weekend I was there, but I wanted to do it on Citibike (so that I could give up and get the subway back to my hotel if the biking was too much) and Citibike doesn’t go north of Central Park. So instead I circumnavigated the Citibike area, a ride of about 35km all up. I had no idea how extensive the parks were in Manhattan; not just Central Park but the East River Park and the Riverside Park also.
My work trip to New York was related to becoming a manager of my team at work, which I had been discussing with my own manager since March, and which took effect in June. My Sydney team partners with another team in New York; we share a pager rotation, and so visiting New York is part of the deal in even being on this team, but especially in managing it. So part of my goal in being there was to start to put down a few roots; to find the odd place I wanted to return to. I didn’t expect I would root myself in a bikeshare scheme though.
Once back in Sydney I had the first of the lifelong rounds of cancer recurrence screening I will need, initially to be six monthly. This first one in June was clear but didn’t involve a radioiodine scan, which will happen at the one year mark since concluding treatment, ie, November. I found out I’ve been somewhat hypothyroid for months and months, the exact opposite of how I’d ideally be dosed in the years immediately following having thyroid cancer. There will always be something.
Otherwise June was a quiet month, which was good for transitioning to my management role, which although effected largely through paperwork rather than interviews, was in practice the third new job I’d had in eighteen months. I’m looking forward, some year or other, to a year where we live and work and study in more or less the same way at the end of the year as we did at the beginning.