It was just our regular Sunday morning chat. The one she has more time for vs her weekday calls from the Starbucks line before catching the subway to her job in the finance district of Manhattan.
“So I’m going to Miami for four days in May.”
“Yeah, Mom. Same place I went before. You want to come?”
When your thirty-five year old daughter asks you if you want to go on a trip with her, you’d be a fool to refuse. And I ain’t no fool.
During her visit home over Easter we made the flight reservations. Well SHE made the reservations while her unskilled traveler mom looked on. She’d be flying out of Kennedy, I’d be leaving from Logan in Boston. A month later Britt and Liz took Miami. Where I gained a true appreciation of how to be a Mom to an adult daughter.
On May 17thdid you happen to see a 60-ish lady running through Logan Airport in socks, holding her sneakers? Yeah, that was me. Boston traffic was worse than I’d anticipated. I’d gone to the wrong terminal. The bag check-in lines were endless and there was a police dog going nuts so yeah.. I missed my flight. Frantic call to Britt.
Through half laughing tears I asked her, “What should I do?”
Within twenty minutes, she’d clicked, clicked ,clicked me onto a new flight, on a different airline. Did it cost more? Who cared at this point. It all became part of our story.. OUR story.
Our boutique hotel was an entirely new experience for this Marriott-loving woman. The Standard in Miami is anything but. Smallish rooms but just fine for us. The clientele of diverse races, gender preferences, couples and groups jolted me out of my small-town familiarity. There was no size or body consciousness in bathing suit choices. Conversations swirled in Hebrew, French, German and I was embarrassed not to speak Spanish. Every other person had a dog and I actually saw a cat on a leash. I seemed to be the only one who noticed that I brought up the age demographic by at least thirty years. At the Standard.. nobody cares. As long as you were nice, you do you is the underlying mantra.
If you don’t put it on Instagram, did it really happen? Well I was quickly dissuaded from that notion because except for one, my daughter immediately nixed any selfie posts.
“But.. but.. “ I argued.
“Mom. We’re not here for that. Not everything we do has to be put out there.”
And that was the end of it. Ten years ago would I have pushed back? Probably, but as she’s grown, perhaps so have I. Accepting that I do not always have to be in control is very freeing. Other than asking what I felt like eating, Britt took charge of our dinner plans. We dressed up because we felt like it not because we had to. We wore comfortable shoes and accepted what Florida humidity did to our hair. We chatted up bartenders and people at the pool. I silently marveled not so much at what a great daughter we raised as what a nice person she is.
Every morning she went to a Barry’s class while I got coffee. Our away time made us enjoy our together time more. We talked a lot, but not every conversation had to be a revelation or a revealed secret. We discussed ‘remember whens’ of middle school crushes and high school drinking shenanigans. Boyfriends who she had the most fun with and ones she regretted. We made each other laugh. We hugged freely. No one mistook us for anything but mother and daughter, nor did we.
Because I will always be her mother and Brittany will always be my daughter. But she’s learned how to be an adult daughter and I have learned to be an adult daughter’s mother. Sometimes that means not opining on every statement, not pushing back when we don’t agree and accepting that she knows what’s best for herself. The kids are alright.