Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Instead of a Party, Alone Time

Being the mother of three children means than at any given moment, three personalities are vying for my attention. Everyone needs something, and right now. If I don't respond, because I'm changing a diaper or washing dishes or (chas v'chalila) reading an article or an email, and didn't hear the request ("Mom!! Why isn't this computer program/ pen/ zipper/ etc working!?"), I have disappointed a child. The disappointment is daily and ongoing. It is part, I suppose, of growing up with siblings. Or maybe just part of growing up. 

As an alternative to a birthday party, Josh and I wanted to honor our new ten-year-old with something meaningful and memorable. So we gave her something rare and valued: her mother's undivided attention. This past weekend Bella and I escaped, just the two of us, for a day and night to a beautiful hotel in the mountains above New Paltz, NY. We ice skated, swam in the indoor pool, dressed up for dinner, and played pinball and foosball in the game room. I felt like a kid, and Bella felt like a grown-up. 

Bella was genuinely grateful for the trip, thanking me more than once. She also expressed some reservations about her dad not being there. We agreed she would find another time to do something special with Daddy. Besides, I reassured her, it's okay for us to celebrate this day together, because I was instrumental on the day of her birth. 

Since the day I became a mother, I've thought that mothers are as deserving of congratulations on their children's birthdays, as the children are themselves. 

We had a lot of time to talk. Over a grown-up dinner of seared bass, I shared details she didn't know about her birth. (More about that day to come in a future post: it was unforgettable.) Watching her listen, wide-eyed, I had this feeling that I was glimpsing the woman that she will be one day: a thoughtful person with integrity and poise, and generous with her smile. Knowing how fast these past ten years have gone, it won't be long until I'll be sitting at a future dinner with that very woman. 

Over dessert of ice cream sundaes-with-a-cherry-on-top, I saw the sweet and delighted ten-year-old girl she is now. No rush, I reminded myself. No rush. 

End of a long day. Tired!


  1. You have such a beautiful family. What a wonderful way to celebrate Bella's first decade!!!



  2. A one-on-one getaway is a perfect gift...such a smart mom!


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