My parents came for a visit this past weekend, and we had such a great time. It was the first time they had been out here since we moved nearly five months ago, and the first time they had seen the kids since then as well. Two wonderful things came out of this special time. One, Tobey and I got to go away for a night!!! It was the first time we had been away just the two of us, in longer than I can remember. It was my birthday so Tobey surprised me with a trip to Sonoma for the night.
We got to stop at wineries, have a great dinner, and even had breakfast in bed the next morning. What a treat!!
But what was even more special was spending quality time with my parents. When we lived back East, we saw them all the time, which was great, but it was always a few hours here, maybe a night there. But this time they were staying with us for five nights, so we really got to spend some nice time with them. On Sunday we went to Muir Woods for the day (or shall I say morning, since my daughter’s need for a nap precipitated us leaving a bit prematurely). I had been there before, but it had been about five years. My parents hadn’t been in 15 years and my husband and children had never been there, so it was cool seeing it through their eyes. The trees really are impressive, most of them taking close to a thousand years to reach their full size.
I got rather nostalgic for my beloved New York City when I saw this tree. It reminded me of that steel rubble that was left after the terror that struck the World Trade Center over 11 years ago. I couldn’t help but feel so sad for my old friend, this glorious city that is yet again facing major physical and psychological damage after Hurricane Sandy.
The next day, I took my parents and the kids to Muir Beach. This amazing beach is only 15 minutes from our house, and it feels like such a luxury to live so close to something so beautiful.
It is a small, intimate beach, bookmarked with cliffs on either side, and a set of rocks that made for some fun climbing for my son.
As you can see from this picture, it was freezing! But the kids still had a blast.
Poor Jackson was feeling under the weather that day, but you never would have known it. He would have climbed rocks all day, if we had let him and with Papa’s help he was able to climb one of the biggest rocks there.
A friend of mine once told me that living far from her parents, while hard, made everyone appreciate each other that much more. And I really see that now. While it is extremely difficult being so far from my family, the time we do spend together now is that much sweeter. But the goodbyes are the hard part. Early this morning my parents left for the airport and it was a goodbye filled with all the expected tears and hugs and somber waves and blown kisses.
After they left, I was a bit teary and my son sat on my lap. “Mommy”, he said, “I’m sad that they left. But…I’m also happy I get my bed back.”
You can always count on three year olds to tell you the truth. And to make you laugh through your tears.