Friday, January 4, 2013

Trips and Toasts

Every July for our anniversary, Brian and I treat ourselves to a very rare and special event -- a dinner date out alone together. We call it our "fancy dinner," which really only means that we don't wear jeans or order nachos. Last year, our anniversary fell on the day after Rachel's wedding so we kind of let that one slip by, but this year we decided we needed to make up for it. And celebrate the whole beating cancer thing. So this week we booked a three-night trip for July 4th weekend to the Spruce Point Inn in Maine, the place where we had our wedding almost seven years ago. Except for our friends' weddings, we have never left the kids alone for a trip together. Am I excited for these three nights away? Let's just say that I am thinking of packing my bag after I hit "Publish" on this post.

For our fifth anniversary a few summers ago, Brian and I entertained the idea of going up to Maine for a few nights without the kids. Our friend, Lauren, had told us about an awesome deal on Rue La La for two nights at Spruce Point (she had also had her wedding there) so we jumped on it and booked a room for mid-July. Teddy overheard us talking about possibly going up alone and in his most pathetic little voice he asked, "Can I come wiff you?" Our hearts melted and we said of course he could. We had an awesome few days with the kids that weekend...
Annabel hanging by the pool

Loving my baby girl

Our little fish

Annabel's inner thigh. What, you thought it was something else?

Teddy: "OK, fine, we can keep her." 

Annabel's got her eyes on a lobster roll -- that's my girl!
Despite how lovely that all was, this year, we're ditching the kiddos, the pack-n-play, and the magnetic highway bingo, and we're heading for the hills, so to speak. As they say after Sesame Street, our trip will be made possible by the generosity of viewers like yousome of our most thoughtful family and friends who sent us gift certificates to our favorite spot when we were in our darkest days. It will also be possible because of the generosity of the Spruce Point Inn, who sent us a two-night complimentary stay after they heard about my cancer and my blog from a friend who forwarded Brian's Checkmate Day post to them. I bawled my eyes out with happy tears when I opened these chances to visit one of my most favorite places on earth.

Brian and I don't do gifts on our anniversary. We tried for a year or two but for whatever reason, we weren't really keen on keeping that responsibility up every year. So we started a new tradition that we love -- every year we alternate who gives the toast at our fancy dinner. I look forward to those toasts more than anything because it's kind of like a love letter. Since we don't write any of those during the year (does anyone?), it's fun every year to take a few minutes to talk about something more romantic than if the Miralax helped Annabel poop that day. Brian's toasts are always so much better than mine, but that's probably because I'm such a great wife. Joking. He's way more funny than I am and he knows just how to melt my heart even when my appetizer is anxiously awaiting consumption. It's my turn to toast this year. I may need to practice this one to be sure I can get through it without diluting my champagne with tears. But I can't wait. And I still can't believe that loved ones and strangers alike have been kind enough to give us that time up in Maine to celebrate together. 

On New Year's Eve as we watched the beautiful bride, Andrea, dance with her proud father, Brian joked about being a total mess at Annabel's wedding. The jokes were a welcome distraction to gut-wrenching thoughts I was having about how much I hope to be there to see it. During the mother-son dance, I had to fight back the tears. Brian could tell I was getting emotional and I knew he was having the same thoughts. It was my turn to make a joke. A dark one, at the very least. I better friggin' get the chance to have that time with my son, I laughed to him as we watched Steve dance with his mother. He told me that I definitely would. I took a sip of my water to wash down the lump in my throat. 

Just like all of us, I have no idea what the future will hold. Maybe one or more of my kids decide never to get married. Maybe they elope. Maybe they get married, divorced, and married again. I'll be fine with  their choices so long as they each find someone that seven, or even 37 years later, they still can't wait to pack a bag and run away with for a few nights. Just like I did. 

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