Sunday, April 3, 2016

Rich in love

My daughter and I spent the week away at a spa resort with three pools, including a lazy river and a quiet pool, where we lounged and swam and did laps and read and people watched and talked about everything under the sun. And just exhaled. My youngest is so cheerful and easy, her laugh quick and ringing. The whole trip, people went out of their way to be nice to us, from the redcap at the airport sending us right through the pre-check line and upgrading our seats gratis without being asked. He'd noticed from my girl's ID that her birthday had been the day before and then he noticed from my ID that he and I share the same birthdate, and he just went ahead and gifted us. I don't think my girl's dancing smile hurt one bit. We sailed through the security line looking back at what was a gnarly crowd undoing belts and taking off shoes and jackets and depositing laptops in bins. "This must be what it feels like to be rich," my daughter said. "We are rich," I told her. "I know, I know," she said, laughing and rolling her eyes. "We're rich in love."

Then at the hotel, I asked the check in person to please not give us a room overlooking the truck lot at the back of the property that I'd seen on our way in. I told her we were celebrating my daughter's birthday and upcoming graduation and this trip was her gift. The woman lit up and told my girl congrats and then said, "I'm giving you a room overlooking the main pool. I think you'll like it." And we did. The view was spectacular, very theme park like—we were in Orlando after all—yet approachable and lively, with families having what looked to be a fabulous time. All we had to do on waking each morning was look out our window to feel immediately connected to the fun.

The first night we walked around getting the lay of the land and decided we liked the quiet pool best, with it's surrounding cabanas and sedate crowd of honeymooners and retirees sunning themselves peacefully. All week we alternated between there and the lazy river, all 892 feet of it, with waterfalls and water cannons and rapids, where children were pretty much losing their natural minds with happiness as they frolicked with others their own age under parents' indulgent gaze. The two scenes were a nice counterpoint of energies.

The last night there was a knock on the door, and a woman stood there with a beautiful cake on a tray. "I have a delivery," she said. "We understand someone has a birthday and is graduating?" The card was from the woman at the from desk who'd checked us in! We couldn't believe her thoughtfulness! We cut a quarter of the cake and took it downstairs to thank her; my daughter told her she made our stay. The whole week was like that, people just being their loveliest selves with us, and my girl and me being out loveliest selves with each other. And while food seemed expensive in the moment, it was delicious, and I just decided whatever, because if you're going to have an experience, have the whole experience. In the end, the tally came to a lot less than I expected, which just added to the whole week being pretty close to perfect.

We got back to the city yesterday, and my son decided we should all go out for a Hibachi dinner. His girlfriend was here, and my daughter's boyfriend was here too, so it was my husband and me and the four of them strolling along at twilight to the Japanese place in the neighborhood. The man and I held hands and walked along behind our children, smiling at each other and deeply contended that at this moment in time, each and every one of us was a happy camper. I wish I'd taken a photo of the six of us, but it was one of those times when it was better just to be in the flow of the experience rather than to step outside of it to create a record. These words will be my record.


14 comments:

  1. And indeed they are a record of love, your words.

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  2. I am so glad you had this time together. You deserved every bit of it. xo

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  3. Beautiful and richly deserved!

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  4. This made me cry, woman! Such sweetness and love and caring and deliciousness.
    Oh. Yes. Wonderful.

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  5. I am crying happy tears in Tennessee, Angella! I just feel the love flowing through you, your family, that cake...it's just all so beautiful and I love you!

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  6. That's such a great time together!!! I am very happy for both you!!!!

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  7. It sounds like such a relaxing and rejuvenating time away. Happy Birthday to your daughter, and may this memory stay clear and warm for both of you always.

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  8. What a special getaway with beautiful mama and daughter. I'm glad you had the time away with her and talked about everything. You are blessed in family. Happy birthday and graduation to her. I love reading about your life.

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  9. What a beautiful flowing post -- like a trip down the lazy river, but it wasn't lazy that you wrote -- more like LOVELY.

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  10. This brought tears to my eyes. So happy for you and K. Happy Birthday to her!

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  11. Tears here as well. Beauty.

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  12. I'm in love with these words, this record, and especially that last photo of your daughter. We've watched her grow up here, you know. I am tearful. She is a woman. You are woman. And you both look so present, so alive. Love you so.

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  13. A beautiful post! It unspools and flows, as Elizabeth said, just like that lazy river. I'm glad you had such a great time. Sounds like positive energy all around.

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  14. Sounds like a perfect evening. Your hair looks lovely. Your daughter is beautiful. It always makes me teary when people do something nice and you had nice after nice after nice!

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