One thing the pandemic (and life) has taught me is tomorrow is not guaranteed, and no matter how much you plan or have good intentions, we are not in control. Let me repeat that: WE ARE NOT IN CONTROL. Coming to terms with my own mortality and that of the ones I love has instigated a passion to enjoy life NOW. Spend time together NOW.
So, I called up my mom and said, “Let’s go on a trip!”
“With the kids?”
“No. Just you and me.”
“… Hot dog!”
It’s been a long time since my mom and I have done anything Will Smith-style (Just The Two Of Us), as time together is unquestionably spent with my kids and partners. But not all ‘time together’ is created equal; dancing to Frozen, wiping butts, and snaking limbs into PJs does not exactly promote fulfilling conversation and meaningful relationship maintenance.
And, narcissistically speaking, there was a time when the world revolved around moi, not my spawn. Would I seamlessly slip back into the center of my mom’s universe?
Yes. Yes, I would.
The soundtrack of our Nashville trip was a melodious combination of country music and “Metee, I made you a coffee!” and “Are those good walking shoes?” Slipping back into the dynamic of being my mom’s daughter rather than mother of her grandchildren was blissful! And while there were moments when I regressed into a moody, know-it-all teenager (Cahm-bria vs CAME-bria became a whole thing), traveling together as both family members and ladies over a certain age had its perks.
First off, there is no pressure to stay out late. I’ve noticed that whenever I vacation with my husband or friends, we maximize our bedtime-less freedom, opting to stay up late and mistakenly believing we’ll be able to sleep in the next morning (spoiler alert: you won’t; our internal maternal clocks are cruel). With my mom in tow, we picked up a post-dinner bottle of wine and luxuriated in our fluffy queen beds, watching the sunset while scrolling through Netflix. Ain’t no guilt or shame tucking in early when you’re traveling with your ma.
Secondly, sometimes daughter knows best. My mom nonchalantly commented how she was too old to do something. If she thought she was too old, was I? GULP. Heck no! I vehemently disagreed, dragged her out of her comfort zone, and guess what—we BOTH had the time of our lives. Did we join the lines amongst IG influencers to take selfies along all of Nashville’s finest murals? Yup. Did we wait an hour to dine at a hip brunch place nary a child-generated stretch mark nor a phone full of baby pictures? Yes! And we cheers’ed our mimosas like the rest of ‘em. Did we mosh with the other twenty-something bachelorette parties? No! It’s a pandemic, people! Sometimes we feel we need permission to join in on seemingly youthful activities, but age is a mentality. There is no age limit on having fun. (There is an age limit on crop tops, though…)
Lastly, I recognized quickly that I am truly my mother’s daughter, and boy, I am glad for it. Every time we stepped onto an elevator, I would begin to inwardly count, as my mom would usually strike up a conversation by the time I reached ‘4’. I got a kick out of this! It never failed! However, guess who immediately chatted up fellow riders during my own solo elevator rides? ME! And don’t get me started on Lyft drivers. My mom would depart their Toyota Corollas as dear friends, wishing them well on their journeys. Truthfully, I would have loved to join in on the sharing of aspirations had I been able to get a word in.
I recognize not only how privileged I am to get away with my mom but also the fact that I want to spend time with her. Not everyone has a great relationship with their parents. Being a mother myself, I recognize how hard it is to raise healthy, happy, and safe kids. It’s a whole different ballgame whether they end up liking you. My mom did an excellent job because I like her a whole heck of a lot!
And now, back to our regularly scheduled programs where our worlds revolve around my kids…