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Tuesday, January 13, 2015

The Mother's Day House

When my Perfect Grandson was just a little guy (instead of the grown up seven years he is now), he had a Mother’s Day House.  In his Mother’s Day House, there was a swimming pool and an amusement park where he rode scary roller coasters.  He produced movies in his Mother’s Day House, thrilling, adventurous movies in which he starred, performing deeds of daring do.  He could push a button in his Mother’s Day House, and it would transform into all sorts of glorious things like a giant robot or a space ship, things particularly useful for an alien.  [He still insists he is an alien, one from the planet Pieroid, continuing his long-held fascination with pie. (See my Blog post of August 5, 2010, when he was two:  Pumpkin and The Pie Boy.)]  There was a lot of candy in his Mother’s Day House, but here were no rules and no bedtimes.  The only person allowed to join him was his sister until he realized there was no on to cook for and take care of him.  He then conceded that his mother would be allowed to come  perform those tasks.
 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:
     had lunch,
     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.