Monday, May 9, 2011


Last week the girls and I took our annual tri-state area spring break road trip. For the past three years, I pack up the car and visit my parents in Connecticut and then fan out to various friends in the New York tri-state area.  I have close, generous friends who open up their homes to the three ring circus of the Lazenby girls. I try to be a good house guest, bringing food and wine and my own bedding. I love this trip and I want to be asked back by my friends.

 Part of my purpose of the trip - besides trying to fill a week off from school - is to expose my girls to my homeland and the people that I come from.   This corner of the Northeast is not multi-cultural  - it is very white.   I feel that it is important for the girls to get into a city and hear some noise, see people in different colors and hear forgein languages being spoken. It is a good lesson for myself too, in how to handle questions on the subway asked in a loud kid voice of - "Mommy, everyone in here has darker skin than us - do you see?" I see.  And it is true. 

 I started this trip years ago because I needed to prove to myself that I could still get a glimmer of that person I was before I had children.  I did it to prove to myself that I could be independent. Even though I was with them every moment of the day, taking a trip like this was the great duality - I was in a place where I remembered the free, childless person I was, yet, I was very responsible for these little people that were my children. 

It takes balls and planning and patience to road trip for a week with young children. Most day I have two out of the three.  We don't have video screens in the car, so we do it without movies or downloaded television shows.  The girls pack books and pencils and notebooks and with the advent of Pandora we can sing Katy Perry and Madonna for miles and miles.  I may love my dirty rock & roll, but having this girls has allowed me to indulge in my love of sugar pop music. 

This trip is important because it gives me a break from being a daily task master.  A barking sargent, hoisting them (and myself) out of bed and getting ready for school.  I feel as though I say "No" too much as a mother.  No to junky snacks, no to play dates because it is a school night, no to television.  As a mother, I am constantly monitoring, the girls and myself.  I am monitoring their manners, how much organic fruit they eat, how much sleep they get.   On these trips it is good reminder to myself that saying "YES!"  is fun for the girls - and myself.  

 Sophie shared with me her journal that she kept for our road trip.  Do you know the moments that stuck out to her for our week away?  The fact that at the aquarium she and Katie got Doritos and popcorn from the vending machine!  She thought staying up late with me and our friends to watch American Idol was "so cool!"  That although he was "wicked bummed" that she had hiccups at the Museum of Natural History it was "way awesome" that they got ice cream with sprinkles from a street vendor and they could sit on a bench and watch the people go by. 

"Yes" is a great word.  This trip really was a great reminder to use it more often in my daily life as a mother.

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