Friendship trip

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Happy Labor Day. The unofficial end of summer.

It never seems to matter whether it’s official or not. After this weekend, the hot and humid air may stick around but the lazy and breezy summer moods will not. Our minds turn to leaves, and pumpkins, and Halloween. And everything we must finish before the end of the year.

Baby and I bid farewell to summer this weekend with three jam-packed days. A fitting finish to the run-around-crazy summer we’ve had.

Saturday morning, we boarded the train. Destination: Grandmom and Poppop’s house.

Baby on the train

M stayed back to prepare for an interview (send thoughts of good luck!). Baby and I left to give him space and time focus. And, to be honest, I wanted to see what it would be like to travel with Baby on my own.

It was lovely.

On the train, we colored. We read. We watched a couple of episodes of Curious George on my iPad. We sang songs with her baby doll. We gazed out the window.

reading on the train

I felt we were doing ok and not causing any great disturbance. But it’s impossible not to worry about the ears of fellow passengers, likely not accustomed to the unique cadence of a child’s voice.

So when the woman in front of me turned around and peeked up over the back of her seat, I braced myself.

“She is so cute!”

I breathed a SIGH OF RELIEF.

“Thank you! I was worried we were bothering you.”

“Not at all! I’ve been listening to her this whole time and she is so cute!”

When we got up to leave twenty minutes later, the woman said goodbye and, looking directly at me, “You are doing a good job.”

If you ever want to brighten a mom’s day, whether it looks like that day is going well, or not, tell her she is doing a good job. It is the ultimate compliment, so often deserved by so many moms and so rarely delivered.

 

Back at Grandmom and Poppop’s house, we had a lovely, lazy Saturday.

During our visits, Baby and her Grandmom always play for hours, strengthening the bonds that they’ve developed during all of my Mom’s visits. I don’t think I’ve ever seen my Mom smile as brightly as she does when Baby calls out for her. When Grandmom takes a break, there is at least one, often two, Aunts at the ready, their smiles just as bright.  Grandmom and the Aunts banked serious time with Baby this weekend and it warmed my heart, as always, to watch them.

Baby playing bocce with Aunt K

But this weekend belonged to Poppop.

Baby walking with poppop

My Dad usually busies himself with other things when we visit. And since we usually visit on holidays or for big events, there is usually a lot to be busy about.

But this time was not busy. And Poppop stayed and played.

They colored. They played ball. Like two new, but sure-to-be friends, they bonded over shared meals at home and giggles in the car.

baby coloring with poppop

I never would have guessed that seeing my child excited and eager to play with my parents or siblings would bring me such joy.

But it does.

And now Baby and I have lovely memories of time with her Poppop.

 

This morning we were back on the train and back home in what felt like no time at all. Within minutes of stepping into the house, M and Baby reunited in their favorite of ways – cooking. I listened to their happy chatter in the kitchen as I slowly unpacked and settled into the coziness of being home.

friendship trip coloring book

Saturday night, me, and one of Baby's coloring books. A little memento of our weekend. A friendship trip indeed.

 

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