The View from Here

Posted: April 6th, 2009 | Author: | Filed under: Drink, Food, Friends and Strangers, Mama Posse, Shopping, Travel | 2 Comments »

It’s Monday morning. And Paige is napping. And it’s warm and sunny and my laptop and I are curled up together on the front porch and the neighbor’s dog is barking and a steady stream of nannies are pushing stroller-loads of kids to the nearby park. And I’m looking at the flowering plants I bought recently–they’re hanging somewhat limply–and I wonder if amidst the myriad other things he did, Mark ever managed to water them this weekend.

Because, for three days and two nights–or really, three days and three nights of parenting when you consider the kids were asleep when I got home yesterday–I was on a blissful Moms Gone Wild weekend, with my fabulous far away friend, Julie.

This all-by-myself like a big girl extravaganza was my delightful Christmas gift from Mark, who as it turns out does have some appreciation for how hard my job can be, and the fact that despite not having a 401K, salary, or discernible career path, the position also lacks sick leave and vacation days. So, God bless him, I was given this sorely needed and greatly appreciated junket.

Now, some people might wonder if it’s kinda weird to suddenly find oneself kid-free with all the nose and ass-wipin’ I’m used to doing all day. You know, taking a look back at the empty carseats and having that unsettling feeling that you’ve forgotten something. But really, I supported a lifestyle of kidlessness for some 37 years. And I’ve found that not being responsible for anyone else is like riding a bike. Neglect it for a while, but when you do hop back on it’s like your legs just know how to pump those pedals.

And since the mere act of aloneness is part of the thrill of it all, I didn’t have to wait until I was perched on a bar stool in Breckenridge for my weekend hijinx to begin. The fun kicked in Friday afternoon, the moment I pulled away from the curb and turned the kiddie CD off and LIVE 105 on.

I mean, other mothers understand this. Out at breakfast that very morning, the Mama Posse was angling to get a little contact high off of my upcoming weekend.

“Okay, tell me everything you are doing,” Mary commanded. “Every plan you have. I need to hear it all laid out.”

And Megan: “You are going to be on the airplane with no children! You can nap! Read a magazine! I’d be happy with just the airplane ride alone.”

I hated to gloat, really, but all those things were true. All the other people on the long-term parkng shuttle were biding their time until they arrived at their terminals. In my new fancy-free untethered Mama mode I was in a mental limbo contest on a beach in Jamaica. That was the shuttle bus ride of a lifetime. (The driver, who didn’t even help with my bags, still may be wondering why he got such a handsome tip.)

The thing is, aside from all the foolish thrills of doing things like peeing without children yapping at my heels, the weekend was also filled with many legitimately fun and beautiful and delicious activities–things even a normal person would find particularly noteworthy and engaging.

We ate a dazzling meal in Boulder on Friday night, giving me one evening to admire our SF-transplant friends’ hip hip hip new house (no Haight Ashbury Victorian that), hang with the husband-folk, then cup the chins of their darling children before Julie also ripped off her mother uniform, smashed it down deep in a garbage can, and we hopped into the car to four-wheel footloose to Breckenridge.

It snowed! We got 90-minute hot stone massages! We sat at the canonical ain’t-this-livin’ Mexican restaurant drinking the requisite margaritas and taking silly pictures of ourselves. I bought a pair of barely-can-breathe skintight jeans that have those super faded creases at the crotch and buttons on the back pockets because sometimes it’s fun to dress like a 14-year-old when you’re 41 just because other women at the store tell you how hot you look and you believe them, damn it. We got mochas at the World’s Quaintest Starbucks, housed in a little yellow cabin with dark green shutters and a wee front porch. So cute you could pinch its cheeks. We bought matching black hipster hats that managed to fit our small small heads. And after drinking more than two but less than five margaritas, we went to a bar that had pool tables, and even though it should have happened, when we walked in no one handed us arm bands that said ‘chaperone’ to wear. All those kids were actin’ like it was okay that WE COULD HAVE BEEN THEIR MOTHERS, and were just letting us sit there nicely with them having exactly what we didn’t need (more alcohol) but wasn’t the point of the whole weekend about us getting ourselves some of what we didn’t really need anyway?  (Case in point, the aforementioned jeans.)

Oh there were other things we did. Like slept until 10AM, thankyouverymuch. But really, I don’t need to continue to rattle on about how I read the entire way on the flight back. Because, even though I’m back from Breckenridge and my hangover is almost nearly altogether behind me, my Moms Gone Wild weekend is still lingering. I’m still feeling it out here on the front porch where in a few minutes Paigey will likely wake up and we’ll figure out what groceries it is we might need, and whether we should walk or drive to get Kate from school, and if there’s maybe time to pick up some Easter Bunny supplies along the way.

I’m back in saddle. I’ve got this routine nailed. There’s not much new in these parts since I left, but the familiar views I’m so used to seeing from here have taken on a fresh new sheen.

Thank you, Mark. This was the best Christmas ever.


2 Comments on “The View from Here”

  1. 1 Mark said at 11:00 am on April 6th, 2009:

    You’re welcome, honey!

  2. 2 megan said at 7:43 pm on April 10th, 2009:

    Nice Job Mark! Kristen – I know that sweet taste of freedom and how it can alter your home view. I hope it lasts for a long time. So glad you had a great adventure!

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