My mother and I have a great relationship for the most part. Sure, she sometimes bites her fingernails or chews her carrots too loudly – but I like her. I really do. And I owe her like crazy. Because until I had my own baby, I didn’t realize how totally and utterly encompassing this mothering gig can be. (I know, I know.) The sacrifices and sleepless nights and frenzied mornings – they were lost on me until this kid came along and started spitting up on my blouse. So this Mother’s Day, I wanted to kick it up a notch and celebrate my mother in the best way I knew how…
Naturally, my husband wanted to do the same for his. So we dreamed up a weekend getaway one state over to take our mothers to see the musical Wicked. A night of room service, hot tubs, grand tier seating and general mother-daughter-son-granddaughter adventures. And it was lovely.
I’m a late bloomer here, so it’s taken me a long, long time to recognize that memories don’t just happen. To be fair, sometimes the best memories are of the simple, everyday variety – waking up to clean sheets, a loving husband and the morning paper. But the rest? There’s a reason memories are made.
They require planning and crafting and coercing and bending. They require swapping of schedules, depositing of money. Remembering of toothbrushes.
And they are exhausting. It’s wonderful to be with the ones you love, yes. But like every great adventure, there are sour moments. Fussy babies and eye rolls and short fuses – evidence that the moment is real and alive and genuine. And we smile for the camera, pausing to document this grand adventure while – in the back of our heads – we’re distracted, mentally checking our suitcases and itineraries and tickets.
When we’re vacationing as kids, everything is adventure-minus-responsibility. We eat and ignore the bill, play and ignore the clock, swim and ignore the sunscreen. Yet as adults, responsibilities seem to cloud the adventure. Did we pack enough towels? Where did we store the snacks? What time is check-out?
I’m still working on the balance, but I’d say our first adventure was a success. (We’ve got the pictures to prove it.) And chances are, in five years, I’ll take a peek at those photos and forget the traffic jams and lost tickets and car seat tears. Instead, I’ll see genuine smiles on the faces I love. Pure, adventure-filled (yet mildly responsible) smiles. And that’s the sort of stuff memories are made of.