Monday, May 29, 2017

Memorial Day Weekend 2017

Memorial Day weekend had all the makings of a wonderful holiday weekend. But sometimes reality doesn't live up to expectation.

It was my 15 year college reunion. In some ways, this was tough to swallow, because surely it can't have been that long since I was in college.  I drove up to Rhode Island on Friday via New York City, where I picked up my friend Amanda.  Amanda and I met the first month of our freshman year and have been friends ever since.  We have traveled together, know each other's families, attended each other's weddings, and have rushed to meet each other's children after their births.  So no matter what happened at the reunion, it was wonderful to have that time with an old friend.

Although it was warm and sunny in Philadelphia, by the time we reached Rhode Island it was cold and raining.  We tried to make the most of it, but overall, between the bad weather and the fact that most of our close college friends weren't at reunion, the night was a little bit of a let-down.
Where we spent much of our extracurricular time in college
Ready for our big night out
Friday night ended with Amanda passed out in one bed, and me waiting for a pizza to get delivered while watching Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.  And then me eating the pizza the second it arrived and burning the roof of my mouth!

Saturday morning, Amanda rushed back to NYC because her baby had been sick- I was quite impressed by how well she tolerated being away from him overnight when he was sick for the first time in his short life. After she left, I went for a jog around Providence, running past many of the places I used to live and spend time. Being at Brown was one of the happiest times in my life; I truly had an ideal college experience, where I balanced the freedom of being young and unencumbered with growing independence.  I ran past the hotel where we used to put up the bands that played our summer concerts; past the pizza place where we ordered pizza at 1 am; through the park I ran through with my friend and roommate where she used to challenge me to "feel the burn!" as I tried to follow her uphill; past the house where I lived with 5 friends my senior year; past the building where I sat in a sociology class on the morning of September 11, 2001; past the Main Green of the campus where I spent warm afternoons "studying" on a blanket; past the mall where I shopped with my friends on weekends and spent hours drinking mochas from Nordstrom as we talked; past the hotel where I stayed with my college boyfriend the weekend of his graduation; past the bar where I did tequila shots and flirted with men I didn't know; past the Civic Center where I saw the Foo Fighters open for the Red Hot Chili Peppers in 2000.  The memories of that time are vivid, and I am grateful for every minute of my time there.

After my run, I showered and went to the airport to pick up my sister, who was flying in just to drive down to Philadelphia with me.  The weather had cleared up, and so we went to Newport, and decided to have lunch outside at Castle Hill, where Eric and I got married almost 11 years ago.  We shared delicious food and a cocktail while we sat outside in the sun and watched boats sail through the bay.
Elana at our grown up lunch
a panoramic view from the site where Eric and I said our vows
We then walked off some of our lunch with a walk along the Cliff Walk, looking at the ocean on one side and the historic Newport mansions on the other.  Then I got anxious to get in the car and come home, because it had been too long since I had seen my babies.

On Sunday, the day began quietly, with a leisurely breakfast on the patio, our inaugural trip to the pool at the JCC, and naps for the kids.  Eric's parents had to come to visit while I was away at reunion, and Pat and I went out to buy some groceries while the kids rode their bikes in the parking lot at the school.

This is where the day took a turn for the worse- after Pat and I got back from errands, we found out that Asher had hurt himself while riding his bike.  I won't go into details of the injury, but I was worried. Pat assured me he was fine, but he was clearly in pain, and I didn't like the look of the injury, so at 8 o'clock I called the on-call doctor from the pediatrician's office.  After 2 hours of back and forth with the pediatrician, texting him photos of the injury, his consulting with a specialist at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, and a phone call with the specialist, the specialist requested that I bring Asher in to be seen.  So at 10:30 at night, Eric woke up Asher and we got in the car.  My mom offered to come with me, and although I was ready to go without her, Asher asked that she come. The 3 of us drove into the city in the pouring rain, and Asher was astonished that people were still out and about so late at night.

We were given excellent treatment at CHOP- we arrived at 11 pm and were walking out by 12:10 am.  Fortunately for us, Asher's injury was deemed insignificant and no intervention was needed, and all the medical professionals came right in and were cheerful and helpful. Asher was brave as could be, but I am still feeling some traumatic effects from the evening. It is a huge hospital, and I couldn't stop thinking of all of the truly sick children in there.  And it was still difficult to see my little guy on the hospital bed, both a brave young man and a scared child with his stuffed animal.  He was nervous about needing stitches, but he kept his sense of humor and talked with my mom and me all night (although with decreasing coherency). I love him so much, and have been especially affectionate with him since his injury and our trip to the hospital.  I don't know how parents survive worse; this was nothing but taxed me emotionally.  Asher seems completely fine, and says his injury doesn't even hurt today.

Today was also a quiet day. We had lunch at our friends' house, and the kids all played together so nicely that the adults could just sit around and talk. And then we hosted more friends at our place in the evening.  After getting the kids in bed, I tried to catch up on chores before I go in to work tomorrow.

It certainly doesn't feel like the beginning of summer, what with our 60 degree and rainy weather, and it was hard to feel like our busy and exhausting weekend was restful.  Better luck next year, I guess!

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