Just The Two Of Us

I began daydreaming about a mother/son trip when I first saw the Expedia Find Your Storybook advertisement on TV. The one where the mother is reading her son a bedtime story and simultaneously on an awesome adventure with him.

…where villages floated on water and castles were houses, dragons lurked and giants stood tall and the good queen showed the boy it could all be real.

And then Lucas and I started butting heads.


He’s five, so not listening, pushing my buttons and being defiant come with the territory. But I know that there’s more to it than that because when it’s just the two of us, he’s super.

Lucas has been very patient and understanding of my now divided time between him and his six-month-old sister but he doesn’t quite understand how much his Lola truly needs me right now.

I get it.

He misses me and being the center of my attention and this has been demonstrated by him asking more than once, “Can’t we leave Lola at home and go do something, just you and me?”.


I miss him too.

It has been particularly challenging now that it’s summer and he is not in school for a large portion of the day. We play a game of Uno or Connect Four in between diaper changes and bottle feedings. I’m constantly running back in the house to listen for cries while I should be focused on our game of Ring Toss in the backyard.

We’ve had some awesome mother/son dates, which for some reason are growing increasingly harder to schedule and since it’s summer, I really want to make an impact, leave an impression, do something grand with my son. And yes, put the mommy guilt at bay for a while.

So, with only two more weeks of vacation, what better time to get away, just the two of us? I’m hoping our mother/son trip becomes an annual tradition. This year we are tackling Chicago and leave Thursday. Lucas and I are both bursting with excitement over getting away and creating our own adventure, one that will include Navy Pier, Millennium Park, The Shedd Aquarium and deep dish pizza all without his little sister.

The idea of visiting the Windy City came from my desire to go there and all that it offers children. I’ve been to Chicago several times and I’m looking forward to seeing it through the eyes of my son.

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My six-month old crawls around my bathroom floor or sits in her bouncy seat as I shower, dress and get ready for the day.

I wonder what she’s thinking as I stand in front of the mirror primping and editing, grimacing at my reflection.

She tracks every movement I make completely mesmerized.

I painstakingly dry and then flatten my curly hair straight, cursing the thickness and amount.

She’s focused.

I carefully pluck stray gray hairs from my head and then tweeze my eyebrows.

She stares in awe.

I apply body lotion and eye cream.

Her gaze is wide and bright.

I examine my face with a magnification mirror, picking and squeezing at tiny black heads.

Each of my actions provide a mystery for her to solve.

I scrutinize my midsection and wonder if I’ll always have 5-10 pounds to lose.

Her curious eyes taking it all in.

This little girl is always watching and listening to what I say and do. What messages do I want her to see? What do I want her to hear? It will be years before she has to worry about any of this, but I think about it almost daily. How will I explain my own vanity to my daughter?

I’ll be honest about the work that can go into attaining feminine beauty and the pressures that are placed on even those who work at it the hardest. I’ll explain that these “pressures” are often self inflicted because of what our society says is beautiful.

I will tell her no matter how she views herself or how she thinks others are, that she is flawless.

I will stress that beauty comes from the inside no matter how many lotions and potions she uses and that less is often more.

I will try to convey that to feel beautiful and confident and accepting of herself is the key to longevity.

And I know she’ll believe me, just as soon as I do.


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