A few years ago, his mother (my daughter) and I began to talk about -- no, not psychiatric help for the boy; he’s charming --but about escaping for a week together, perhaps in the city, perhaps at the shore, perhaps at a dude ranch, you know, wherever. We acknowledged that a full week was unlikely to happen but thought we might clear a weekend. We tried date after date, but she had conferences and children’s activities not to mention the actual, time-consuming children. Steve and I went on vacation. We had ballet tickets and dinner dates. The eleven hour travel time between us was daunting. Even scaling our fantasy back to an overnight began to seem extravagant.
Planning for our getaway, though, became an entertaining game in itself. We might go to shows and museums. There would be extensive shopping. We would go hiking, heck, maybe even horseback riding. A gourmet dinner would be followed by two, maybe even three drinks and there would be endless talking giggling. All right, we already talk and giggle pretty endlessly on the phone, but this time we would be doing so in person!
Time passed. We began to yearningly call our little vacation, our Mother’s Day House, a beautiful but perhaps unachievable dream. But we are nothing if not tenacious, and, hey, they’d be here for the holidays anyway. Our men corralled the children, and a couple of weeks after our birthdays, we drove off to the Ritz Carlton hotel, aka our Mother’s Day House.
While ambitious planning had been exciting, here is our actual agenda. We:
went shopping for an hour, couldn’t find anything, got bored and went back to our hotel,
took a nap,
got massages and drank a leisurely cup of tea,
returned to our room to find a complemetary birthday surprise of a fat piece of chocolate cake and a full bottle of iced champagne,
walked around the pricey mall in which the hotel is located and gasped and laughed at the prices,
had dinner including a martini each after which we conceded we couldn’t drink any more,
went back to the room, ate the cake and packed up the champagne to take home to the men,
watched two hours of The Big Bang Theory,
went to sleep in the most amazing Mother's Day House beds.
During that 24 hours, no one interrupted us, no one needed anything from us, and everyone around us strove to please us. We didn’t do anything electrifying, but we did exactly as we pleased, and that is the beauty of a Mother’s Day House.
If you don’t hear from me for a while, you will know that I am in my own Mother’s Day House. I’ll be on the balcony with a martini in my hand overlooking a pastoral landscape on Planet Pieroid, or I’ll step out one of the back doors onto a raft and head down (or is it up?) a windy river, shooting rapids through exotic canyon land. Possibly I’ll be having a candlelight dinner with my husband at a place very much like the Inn at Little Washington where the chef will create amazing dishes just for us, or I’ll actually finish the red and white queen-sized quilt. Yeah, that WILL be in my Mother’s Day House!
And I hope, friend, that you find a beautiful Mother’s Day House of your own and that sometimes it becomes real.