I can't imagine finishing the year without writing about a trip I took in September, a trip to Kansas City to celebrate my sweet mom's 65th birthday. (Feel free to gush over how good she looks in the comments. I totally agree with you.)
We'd been planning this trip for years, no exaggeration, which is actually the way I prefer to plan most trips. (I randomly call Natalie to talk about our 2018 Friendiversary. I'm thinking Nashville or San Diego.) My mom was raised in Kansas City, and I'd never been. A milestone birthday felt like the perfect excuse to pack a bag, get in the car, and celebrate my favorite lady.
There was one glorious, perfect catch to all the fun we had planned for so long. My sister was coming too, but my mom had absolutely no idea. See, we planned and plotted and lied and schemed and then LIED SOME MORE because my mom's one true wish was having the three of us together and we couldn't give her that gift without making her sweat a little for it. We told my mom that my sister had a very pressing work deadline, and it was around her own birthday and her husband had big plans to celebrate and she just couldn't possibly make it, no matter how happy it would have made my mom to have us all together. LIES ALL LIES. She bought a plane ticket and met us in Kansas City, and the surprise was a highlight of my entire life.
(It was so very difficult to drive eight hours to KC with my mom, without ruining this huge surprise. I deserve a trophy.)
We stayed at the lovely and delightful Southmoreland on the Plaza in Kansas City (side note: I'd recommend this place to anyone, anytime, it was so absolutely perfect and charming and also in walking distance from the town's plaza) and they happen to have a fun happy hour every afternoon around 4:30pm or so. I convinced my mom to sit outside on the deck around that time on the day we arrived, knowing Rachel was on her way from the airport (my texts to Rachel were all a lot like this: "WHERE ARE YOU, ARE YOU CLOSE, HOW CLOSE?" "I'm two miles closer than when you texted two minutes ago." I was excited, what can I say!). Anyway, I told my mom the staff was going to bring our wine after it chilled, and then I plotted with the staff to have Rachel deliver the wine herself, as soon as she arrived.
I didn't want my mom to see Rachel walk out, so I tried to distract her with very interesting conversation. Unfortunately, I couldn't think of any interesting conversation TOPICS, very bad timing on my brain's part, so I brought up the one topic I knew my mom would be willing to engage in: PRINCESS DIANA. Seriously, the only person my mom loves more than Adam Levine is Princess Diana. "So, how old were Diana's boys when she died?" This is a very strange quesiton for anyone to ask ANYONE on a girl's weekend, but my mom didn't bat an eye. She answered, quickly, as Rachel walked out with our wine.
(I can now say with much confidence that I can con my mom into anything because I was acting so ridiculous and so sketchy and going in and out and taking phone calls and texting and blaming it all on "oh, gosh, I have to take this work call INSIDE, AWAY FROM YOU" and TALKING ABOUT PRINCESS DIANA'S DEATH and she had absolutely no idea anything was up. She didn't suspect a thing. My sweet mom.)
Oh, it was so wonderful.
We've had our times, the three of us. Crying, screaming, clawing, angry times. We've hated and hurt, and I often wondered if there would be anything on the other side of all that dark stuff. Would we ever sit around a table, just us three, sharing drinks and smiles and laughs and love? This trip was our answer. We would.
It was perfect.
(Okay, the Aggies lost to Alabama while we were there -- I teared up at the dinner table and my mother and sister lost like half the respect they had for me -- so we'll call the weekend as near to perfect as you can possibly get when your football team loses a huge game.)
I think we need to do this again, just the three of us. Maybe for my 35th birthday, which is in three short years.
I better start planning.