We kicked off my sister’s birthday week with a Girls Weekend in Portland. It included many treats:
a hotel suite complete with leopard-print robes; Def Leppard, Winger and Ratt playing on the 80’s rock station and a fruity, creamy birthday cake topped off with sparkler candles.
The highlight of Saturday evening was dinner at a nearby restaurant. Six of us cozily tucked into a long white booth with a beautiful view. We came from far and wide —Oregon, Washington and California— to celebrate Krista’s upcoming birthday. The relationships spanned decades: one junior high school friend, one college friend, two pre-wedding friends and me. We laughed, shared and laughed some more. Many of the tales included our children. We shook our heads in amazement. We nodded in affirmation. While we lingered over a three-hour dinner, we received heartwarming texts and emails from dads who held down the forts. One baked chocolate chip cookies with his son. My brother-in-law softly sang a good night tune to my nephew. In those quiet moments, his son reached up and put a finger to his dad’s lips: “Ssshh….this is my favorite part,” he whispered. We teared up as my sister recounted the story. While we recharged, reconnected and reminisced, dads built some pretty special memories of their own.
When I arrived home yesterday afternoon, Mo and our three-year-old were sitting out in the front yard enjoying the sunshine. As I got out of the car, my son ran to greet me with a hug and kiss. He immediately returned to Mo and jumped up in his lap, cuddling and nestling into his neck.
The realization that I was home seemed to sink in.
“Is it still dude’s weekend?” he asked his dad.
His little face reflected sadness and disappointment that it was over.
Part of me felt that way, too.
After spending the weekend cherishing time and celebrating relationships, we return to our routines filled up — boys and girls, moms and dads, alike.