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Monday, March 15, 2004

I'll Take Manhattan....FINALLY!

Ya know, I feel kinda bad writing about this before Caris does, but since I have a little time on my hands (something which she doesn't seem to have) I'm gonna write it. Because I'm just too damn excited not to. We're going to New York City in May! Wayne, you see that?

For some reason, the Madrigals trip to London was cancelled. I kinda figured out around two weeks or so ago that it wasn't going to happen. They weren't talking a whole lot about it. No one was talking about passports and preparations, and despite my inquiries to Caris and Taryn, they didn't seem to have a whole lot of answers. But then last week, Caris excitedly mentions that London is off (awww!), but NYC is ON (yayyy!). I admit that I was a little sad for her because WOW, London, ya know? But then when I saw how excited she and Taryn were when they were telling Averie about it and how many shows they were going to see on their whirlwind tour, I couldn't be more happy for her. The thought of both Audreys getting to see their inspiration live on Broadway..how cool is that I ask you? Averie began telling her about all the wonderful things she and Celinda did on their trip in December 2002 and what an amazing dream come true.

I remember when Averie went to the Big Apple with Academic Decathalon, I was so envious. New York is someplace I've always wanted to go. It's right up there with Detroit for me. Don't laugh. I have my reasons. Detroit is like Mecca for a Red Wings fan. I just wanna see the boys play a game on home ice. Is that so wrong? But I digress... I remember that I made Averie take her dad's cell phone and I told her at the airport, "Call me from EVERYWHERE. I don't care where you are, call me." She did. I got calls from the top of the Empire State (it was windy up there), I got calls from inside the theater waiting for a Broadway show to start (any minute, Michael Crawford would be on the stage!), I got calls from Ground Zero (we cried together), I got calls from Times Square and Rockefeller Center (the height of her excitment!). She kept her promise and called me from everywhere so that I could share the dream with her. And now, a little over a year later, my second child will get to experience all the same things. Only this time, I get to go with her.

When she told us it was going to be NY, she said, "You know, parents can go on this trip...if they want." I thought about how great that would be. Little flutters inside me reminded me of the impending birth of wonderful things. But, no, I thought. She needs her space. I've always been a big advocate of giving kids their autonomy at appropriate times. When they were little, I always volunteered as a room parent, but I tried to make sure I wasn't the mommy in their particular groups, to give them their space. As they grew, I'd volunteer to go on field trips or drive if needed, but if they asked, I would step back. They would know I was there, which gave them a sense of security, but they were entitled to still have their "boundary of self" (I called it). I didn't want to encroach, but I also wanted to be a part of. I think that's brought us to where we are today. I can't completely speak for them, but I kinda think they like having me around..sometimes. And I'm grateful, because I've experienced so many wonderful things that I might not have been a part of had they not wanted or invited me along.

As the last few days have gone by, I pondered the possibilities. Charlie and I talked. It would be expensive. And really, we're in no position to be spending money on frivolous fantasies. It will be hard enough to just pay for Caris to go. I really have no business thinking about going. If I do go, it would mean, again, that we have to put something needed on hold. Plus, the bottom line would be how Caris felt about it. This was HER trip. Not mine. She earned the right and the privilege to go. I'm just the mom. Charlie; gracious and generous as he is, reminded me that above all, this is the opportunity of a lifetime. A chance to have a trip with my daughter that we would remember for the rest of our lives. I've taken trips with Averie. We have no issues in our relationship for the most part. We talk easily about pretty much everything. As moms and daughters go, I'd say we're pretty close. I long for that with Caris. To build, to bond. This chance may not come again. And as the girls get older, I feel those "family" type opportunities getting fewer. Soon, they will be on their own and all of this will be memory. Charlie said, "This is what you've always wanted, make the most of it now, while you still can. Go to New York with your daughter."

So I talked with Caris and I asked her how she would feel if I went to New York with her. She said, without hesitation, "I'll get the paperwork for you!". And then she called me from school to ask me to bring the deposit. I'm taking those as positive signs that she's ok with me going. So, look out New York....Caris and Pua are about to join Averie's "Taking A Bite Out Of The Big Apple" club!


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