Sunday, February 17, 2008

Roam if You Want to

A weekend away. With friends.

Need I say more? Probably not, but I will anyway.

As I wrote about after our first annual weekend together last February, these are three college friends of mine, all former roommates at one time or another, so we have a history that goes back a rather frightening 19 years now. Last year's gathering was a catching-up time, a time to reconnect after quite a few years, for some of us. A great deal of growing up had taken place in the intervening years, and a lot of hard stuff was going on for some of us. Last year's weekend was, well, cathartic, I'd say. This year we were all on terra firma, more or less. That's not to say that we've got it all figured out (whatever that would look like) but we've made strides; let's put it that way.

We were able to just hang out. Went shopping, ate great meals. (I mean, really great.) Took a walk down memory lane by visiting our alma mater (which has become quite the yuppified institution since we attended it in the early 90s, let me tell you, although I should say that some things haven't changed), and stopped in on some of our favorite haunts nearby. I bought myself a cozy college sweatshirt. Enjoyed "Definitely, Maybe" quite a bit. Celebrated the little girl due in just 10 weeks, the eighth child among us. We drank a lot of coffee and I slept until 8:30 each morning. And best of all, we talked and talked and talked. It was less than a 48-hour visit for a variety of reasons, but that was okay. Next year we're committed to gathering for all three days again, but this was enough for now. Really.

I have an unusual amount of travel ahead of me in the coming months. Leaving home for a weekend is not completely easy with such young children at home, and having reasons to do so four months in a row feels rather excessive. But my family was fine without me. Better than fine, really. They all had a wonderful weekend. And the good it does me to get away a bit, find some space to breathe and be with friends, and drink coffee and talk? Well, it's a world of good.

During the cab ride home from the airport, the B52s song "Roam" came on the radio. An old favorite. As we drove up Lake Shore Drive with the dark, icy outline of Lake Michigan to the east and the gorgeous, twinkling skyline of Chicago lit up to the west, I celebrated these opportunities I have to roam a bit. And I decided that - as long as it's done thoughtfully and involves a great deal of joy about returning home - roaming is just what this Mama needs to do sometimes.

{Photo taken with my iPhone on Friday night's flight to Minnesota. Apologies to Cara for never managing to get a shot that included both of her eyes.}

9 comments:

Susan said...

So glad you had some you-time. Can't wait to see you!

kristenspina said...

It does sound like it was a great time!! I'm happy you had a chance to get away with old friends—love the photo!!

Cara said...

No worries, Jordan! I think that picture is lovely (for lots of reasons!!). It was great to come home to the boys, but it was soul-great to do a bit of roaming with you and our friends! I got to work early this morning and stopped in the cafeteria for some tea and the first thought I had was, "Wait, where's the breakfast spread?" :-)

Shan said...

Sounds like so much fun. Who was with you--Cara, Beth...? Is Beth the one pregnant? I miss our alma mater--and I'm only an hour away. (I did make it up there for an evening last spring, a professional lecture for some CEUs.)

When Genevieve's weaned and my girls are older, I will look forward to an event like this in some shape or form...

Niksmom said...

Oh, your weekend sounds wonderful! So glad you got to go get charged up! Now stop reading comments and go enjoy that cocoa with your adorable boys! ;-)

Christopher Tassava said...

That sounds like a great two days! You picked a good forty-eight hours to visit Minnesota, too...

Beth said...

For my first ever (well, actually second, since I just screwed up the first one a moment ago) comment to/on a blog, I enjoyed reading about the weekend, and most of all want to know whether you ordered the Bibelot purse online, since I see you put a link to the website on there?!

Jordan said...

Yay, a comment from Beth! ;-) Well, they didn't have much on their website and - no purse. I think it's just as well. Too pricey. I just hope I stop dreaming about it soon!

tulipmom said...

Sounds like a great weekend ... the perfect way to recharge. And I enjoyed the video of your boys ... so cute together!