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April 22, 2005 - 11:12 am

SPRING BREAK THE BANK

The kids were out of school for spring break a couple of weeks ago. We couldn’t really go anywhere because we were moving that week, but we did manage to get out for that last weekend.

John took the Boy camping and fishing at our usual spot, while the Girl and I did something completely novel for us. We went shopping at the mall and checked into a fancy hotel and got pedicures. I know, I know. How dare we impose such predictable gender differentiated options on our kids?! But they’re the ones who proposed their own options way back when we were deciding what to do, and now they each want a turn at the other’s choice (except the pedicure part). So back off Dr. Spock.

It was such a blast! We woke up at our new house the first morning of our excursion and it was a beautiful day – one of the first nice spring days we’d had. The Girl and I walked to our neighborhood coffee shop for a pastry and coffee (2% milk for her) before taking off for the mall to shop for clothes. I have really mixed feelings about my child’s deep affinity for the whole mall scene and what it represents. On the one hand, I don’t want her to aid in the perpetuation of the market driven economy of rich, empirical, western nations that results in the tyrannical enslavement of small Asian and South American children who are treated as mere cogs in the wheel of said mall economy any more than we already do. I’ve talked to her about the trade deficit before, and I’ll bring it up again as she gets a little older.

But on the other hand, I know she’s just little and likes pretty things, and I’m okay with some of that for now.

So I bought her a tube of clear, sparkly Christian Dior lip gloss. I KNOW! I KNOW! It was a weak moment. And besides, she said I could borrow it for special occasions.

We shopped mostly for necessities like summer clothes and shoes for her and for the Boy, and even got a few non-essentials. We had lunch there and then headed over to the fancy hotel to check in. Our room was on the 64th floor, and we could see for MILES! It was so exciting looking around and spotting places we knew. We could even detect the curvature of the earth, which the Girl thought was the coolest thing of all.

Then Miss Thing changed into her new bathing suit, donned a sporty new shorts outfit and some flip flops, and we hiked three whole blocks over to Centennial Olympic Park for a romp in the fountain. Okay, I don’t need to be reminded of the homeless people who were displaced to create the park either. God! What is with you?

After that, we came back to the hotel for a hot chocolate at the Starbucks in the lobby (lay off) and a snuggle in that huge bed in our room while we watched Kim Possible cartoons. I so love Kim Possible, and I totally think my Girl could have been the model for her character.

Finally, it was time to get dressed up for our big dinner at The Sundial Restaurant on top of the Peachtree Plaza Hotel. The girl wore a long, spring green and turquoise organza gown with short sleeves and a long matching scarf around her neck. Her hair was left down for the evening. I wore a black sleeveless gown that consisted of a long slip dress underneath a sheer cheongsam style overdress embossed with black velvet flowers. I pulled my hair up. We looked good.

From the door of our room to the hotel lobby to the glass elevator and up to the restaurant, that girl must have gotten thirty compliments. She’s tall and lanky and carried herself with such poise and sophistication that night you’d never know how much she trips over her own feet under normal circumstances. I blame the lip gloss. Dinner was really very good, and the view from that rotating restaurant was unforgettable. That was the highlight of our weekend, for sure.

We came back to the room, changed into pajamas, and stayed up late watching cartoons. The next morning we checked out (from the television! Who knew?!) and went downstairs for the most elegant, elaborate breakfast spread you could imagine. Then we drove over to Key Lime Pie for our leg massages and pedicures. The nail technicians were really sweet and painted each of the Girl’s toes a different color of the rainbow and made a tiny little flower on her big toenail. It was adorable.

I probably went a little overboard on the treats, but I rarely indulge either of the kids’ in frivolities. At one point the Girl even said something like, “I love this weekend because usually you say, 'no, no, no,' and now you keep saying, 'yes, yes, yes!'”

But the weekend was less about the treats and more about hanging out with my Girl, the one who made me a mom, the one who’s so independent but still not afraid to let me know when she needs me, the one who repeats what she hears me say verbatim reminding me how important my words are to her, the one I love so much I can’t begin to tell you. Spending that time together was just what we both needed right then, and I know neither of us will ever forget a moment of it.

~Samantha

recommended:
reading -Run With the Horsemen by Ferrol Sams
viewing - Whale Rider
listening -"When She Loved Me" by Sara McLaughlin

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