Thursday, June 10, 2010

Time in Wonderland

My three daughters and I escaped the city last weekend to initiate what we hope becomes a new tradition. We called it The Girlie Getaway. We didn’t plan anything other than to spend time together. We shared iPod music from Frank Sinatra to Lady Gaga. We polished toenails and French-braided hair. We soaked in the hot tub, cooked a big breakfast, gazed at stars (and planets) only visible in the mountains, got a little drunk and celebrated as the walls came down. Each brought something to contribute and I believe, something to leave behind as well.

Renting a weekend condo with No Boys Allowed was largely inspired by what didn’t ever happen between my mother, my two sisters and me. For all my presumed oldest-daughter closeness to my Mom, there is so much I didn’t know about her. Underneath her shoulds (there were many) and secrets, I like to imagine that she was a little more rebellious, a little less reserved, and a little more like me. I also imagine that my sisters and I could have forged deeper relationships with her and with each other if we could have spent time together; just the four of us. I am dealing now with who she wasn’t, and am haunted by questions I either never thought of or cared enough to ask her.

Unable to distinguish my motivations from epiphany or insanity at this point, I simply want my daughters to know me. I want us to feel safe together and to support and encourage each other. Most of all, I want them to know the unconditional love that my Mother was never able to fully grant me or my sisters.

As our foursome curled up for a Saturday matinee, I didn’t know how female-empowerment-appropriate our choice would be.  It was a beautiful version of  Alice in Wonderland. At one point Johnny Depp as the Mad Hatter says to Alice, “You used to be much more..."much-ier." You've lost your much-ness.”

Oh, I know what it’s like to lose your much-ness...some of mine went with my Mother. But when I am around the amazing women in my life; my daughters or my sisters, I feel like I have a good chance of finding it again.

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