The birthday bash…a little late

I’m writing this post in bed, under the covers, at 1:00 in the afternoon. I’ve been here since Sunday night, with some kind of funky lower respiratory infection that I picked up this weekend. I hate being sick…can’t remember the last time I felt so bad that I stayed in bed more than a day. But my good memories of the long weekend I just spent in Colorado far outweigh the negatives of being sick.

 I turned 50 this past December, and my girlfriends, who never overlook a reason for a party, decided we needed a girl’s trip to celebrate. The fact that I already celebrated my birthday and the fact that it was two months ago meant nothing to them. We’ve done girl’s trips for the last 30 years, but the bonus this year was that I finally talked them into joining me for a ski trip to Snowmass.

Leaving my husband and my daughter for a few days is never an easy thing. Of course, I miss them like crazy, but making sure they’re taken care of adds another layer of preparation for a trip. Cooking extra food for a few days so they have plenty of leftovers to eat, grocery shopping so they don’t run out of anything they need, writing out my daughter’s schedule for my husband so that he knows where and what she’s doing. It used to be a lot more difficult. I had to arrange for transportation and/or babysitting for the times that my husband was working. Now that she drives, it’s a lot easier. I just have to worry about her remembering where she needs to be, and hope that she arrives on time and doesn’t forget anything.

They have learned over the years that I usually come back from my girlfriend trips in a great mood, energized and ready to be the best mom I can be. I can’t explain it, but being with my girlfriends, acting silly, drinking wine, talking until all hours of the night, eating junk food,…just being ME…helps me to be a better mom, and wife. I LOVE my family, and I LOVE being a stay-at-home mom. It makes me happy when I do all the mom things…shopping, cooking, planning, listening, encouraging, reminding, hugging, cuddling…all of it, but going away once or twice a year with my girlfriends is something that I treasure.

My daughter misses me, but she always loves to hear stories about the trip and laughs at our photos. She sees that good friends and memories are something to treasure, and looks forward to making her own. My husband still doesn’t quite understand the attraction of piling a bunch of girls together in a car and/or hotel room, and doesn’t understand how we can hear each other when we all talk at the same time, but he knows that I come back with a renewed appreciation for him and our life together. I’m able to remind myself that underneath the “Mom” and “Wife”…there’s still “Me”.

So far, 5 of 8 of us on this trip have the cough/fever/achy thing. One of us tested positive for H1N1, so it’s likely we all have it. Maybe it was skiing in -16 degree temperatures, staying in close quarters, snowshoe hiking up “terminator” and “anaerobic nightmare” trails, or more likely, sharing a camelback…but whatever it was, it was worth it and we’d all do it again.

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