I really am more of a Type A personality than I like to admit. There are times that I like to call myself a gypsy. I have had some of my best times just “going with the flow.” But there is something innately exciting about planning and looking forward to something. That was the case when I took my kids and my mom to Washington D.C. earlier this June. The trip required a bit more planning. We had to write to senators to get a tour of the White House and an intern-led tour of Congress (Thank you Colorado Senator Bennet) months in advance.
I had consulted with mom to find out what some of the highlights that we should make sure are on the list. I think some of them were obvious – you know White House, Washington Monument, Jefferson Memorial and she wanted to be sure to see the Vietnam Wall (she said it was “her era”). We put as much as we could on a schedule. For me that was a lot of planning! That was one way to make sure we would see everything we needed to see in the short week we were there – and keep my teen kids on task. (There will be another post explaining our whole itinerary and the amazing things we saw). Otherwise they would happily sleep the day away.
On the first day, my mom developed blisters. This made any excursion outside of the hotel a difficult one – one where she would amble along like she’s 90 years old (she’s not but she is 68). I was on a mission for some reason – to see everything that we had on our schedule. This meant that every day was planned and scheduled (and even at that we missed a few locations). I didn’t have much sympathy and only in the past few weeks have I realized what that was all about. In retrospect, I don’t really want to see my mom as an older person. She has so much spunk and life to her yet. I don’t want her to slow down. And in my head any “healthy person” should be able to walk like crazy! At the same time, I’m quickly turning my kids over to adulthood which will include them NOT wanting to spend time with mom. They want to spend time with their friends at the rec center or are busy in their school lives. I am stuck here somewhere in the middle. Making the most of my ability to control what I can control. For this one week – I was able to have both the old and the new with me. But on the brink of change.
I asked my daughter what her favorite part of the trip was. She said it was getting to ride on the metro and in taxis. My son, he liked the White House and Mt. Vernon. And as much as I have to admit it – I liked planning every piece of it. As for my mom? I guess I’d have to ask her – but I’m pretty sure she didn’t like my task master attitude or the fact that I had to stick to the plan!
Next year? My dad will get to come with us to Florida (my parents are still married – but I felt it unfair that one come with and not the other). He will be 70 years old. Maybe I should go easy on him. Maybe I won’t. Just thinking – maybe I should invite them both. A gift for my dad’s birthday (which is in June) would be to not treat him the way I did my mom this year. (I’m sorry mom!)