Today Emma and I are heading to Colorado to visit my childhood friend, Leslie for her 40th b-day, and her family. It’s our Girls’ Weekend, and we have been planning this for a while now. A trip to spend some quality time together. Not that Emma and I don’t spend enough time together…
“You need to stop following me around, please.” I said yesterday in a weak/not one of my better parenting moments.
But, this morning started off without a hitch. I woke up at the crack of dawn, replied to my emails, FB posts, and tweets, like usual, and gently reminded my husband to “deal with Emma.” He is much better with her in the morning.
Emma was awake when I got out of the shower, and I went up to her with a hug and big smile and said “Girls Weekend!”
“Yay!” she said back in her sleepy voice. I love it when Emma first wakes up. She moves much slower than normal, and is simply irresistible with her faint morning breath and messy hair. She wasn’t hungry, and neither was I, so we skipped breakfast thinking that we would have plenty of time to eat in the airport. I pulled off her nighty and pulled on her dress in one swift motion, told her to brush her hair and teeth, and she was ready. Emma loves to travel.
After calling the car service and asking my husband if he was planning on seeing us off in his underwear, we were ready to go out on the stoop and wait the usual 5 to 7 minutes. At about 20 minutes later, I was already hitting a mild panic. I love to travel too, but ONLY if everything goes according to my plan. I had left just enough time for us to get to the airport, and to have a few minutes to eat before getting to our gate. These extra 20 minutes were not in the plan.
Finally, the car arrived, and my now fully clothed husband loaded our suitcase into the trunk and we were off. Our driver asked me what time our flight was, and when I told him, he said “Oh, that’s cutting it close, huh?”
Traffic was pretty heavy in Brooklyn, but I just kept breathing. I took a mental stock on what food I had with us in case we had to run to the gate. We had a kids Cliff bar, gum, and Trek Mix. Oh, and a bottle of warm tap water that would have to be thrown away at the check point. Thank God the traffic wasn’t bad into Manhattan nor at the Holland Tunnel. Our driver kept reminding me just how lucky I was, and thanks to God that he knows the quickest ways around the city. We got to Newark Airport in record time, with 40 minutes to spare. As we walked to our gate, I let out a sigh of relief, and we were on the hunt for some food for the trip. It’s a four-hour trip, after all. We found a McDonalds’ and even though I never eat there, I usually make an exception on trips, and an egg and cheese biscuit with hashbrowns sounded pretty great to me. Not to Emma. She chose a chocolate glazed donut at Dunkin Donuts. And a banana. I made her get the banana. As we went to our gate to sit down, Emma with her hand already in the donut bag, I reached in to get the banana. No banana. As much as I wanted to just forget about it, I looked at the receipt and it was .99. I also imagined Emma having a sugar crash and possible meltdown halfway through the flight. So after Emma inhaled her donut, we went back to get the damn banana.
On our way back to the gate, we picked up Vitamin Water and some pretzels for good measure.
A little while after we returned, it was time to board. Thank God.
I am excited to see my friend. She and I have known eachother since we were Emma’s age. We lived two houses away and went back and forth to our homes so many times a week that there is probably still a worn out path to this day in our neighbor’s yard between us. I revel at the freedom that we had as kids. In the summer, we were basically allowed to just be outside all day. Leslie’s Mom had a bell that she would ring at exactly 5:00 pm telling her it was time to come home for dinner. We usually ate much later, so most times, Leslie would go home, eat, and then come back out, until it was our turn to eat. I am excited to see her, to see her kids, and to see how our kids get along. They have only met twice before, and they were so young that Emma doesn’t even really remember. Leslie has a daughter one year older than Emma, and a son one year younger. Perfect.
We arrived 45 minutes early in Denver and Leslie was waiting at the pick up point wearing a huge smile. I was so excited to see her. Our drive to her apartment was beautiful. There was this amazing blue sky and picturesque mountains with snowcaps in the distance. The air seemed much cleaner, too.
“I want to sit next to Emma” squealed Leslie’s kids when they came home from camp.
Emma was beaming, and so was I. The three of them got along beautifully at first. Then of course, came the obvious problem of having three: two girls and one boy. Leslie’s daughter Lola and Emma quickly declared a “no boys” zone and the tears started. Both Leslie and her husband tried to solve the problem diplomatically, and we basically told the girls that they needed to include everyone, and eventually, they worked it out. There were many times when Emma shared a nice cuddly moment with Leslie’s son Jones, too. I loved seeing them interact, and to see how alike they were as well as different. They look very different for one thing. Leslie’s kids are fair and blonde, and Emma is exactly the opposite, dark and tan. Exactly like Leslie and I were as kids. Sleeping arrangements were made and Emma and I happily passed out at 10pm, ready to see what the rest of the weekend would bring...