...imagine my delight when the three girlies converged on NYC (thanks, Hannah, for the ride) and drew me into their warm embrace, to celebrate my belated 60th birthday.
Our "cruise director" was the newly minted bride, Gretta, and she had our path plotted for the most efficient use of our time. This included a bit of shopping (with all three acting as my "personal shoppers"), amazing food, thoughtful gifts, such kind words, gut-busting laughter, lots of walking, a bit of subway platform dancing and deep appreciation for this life we share.
Gretta (and Lindsey as her sou chef) created a healthy buffet for our Saturday supper and Ben added a Brooklyn Blackout chocolate cake with a blaze of candles. A perfectly timed "face time" call from Stewart in Portland, OR rounded out the evening.
Sunday morning bagels and a stroll in Prospect Park finished up our visit, then we hugged and went in our own different directions.
On the drive home to Vermont on Sunday I had plenty of time to look back over the many years of growing up with those wonderful kids.
-The days and nights that blended together with a newborn, the reshuffling each time a new child was brought into the equation, the books and books and books that were read aloud (by me, by Batman and by the kids).
-My mantra (call me if there's blood), the Third Floor Theatre, the homework that I didn't really believe in, the walks in the woods on weekends, "shops", hailing the cab in the basement.
-House cleaning on Saturday, meals at "camp credit cafe", being "the meanest mom" to teens, gathering so many of their friends around the supper table
-Listening to musical instruments being practiced, the sweet (and not so sweet) little hand written notes left on my pillow at night, the chore wheel, Christmas Eve and Robin Hood.
We raised them with such earnest intention and were young enough to have fun with them too. Now they are a delight to spend time with and I marvel at who they have become. Parenting, it seems to me, is being very directive when needed and getting the heck out of their way when it's not. The trick, I think, is knowing which is which.
I am still learning from these kiddos of ours. They challenge me, hold me accountable, cheer me on, laugh with me, make me uncomfortable...and like this past weekend....spoil me rotten.