Dear readers, you may have noticed that Lovin' the Alien has been on a bit of a hiatus over the past week. As much as I enjoy writing these posts, I'm afraid I've had other equally important things to do.
Hmmmm ... let's see. There was the stroll along the Mississippi, an elegant dinner with an old friend, touring an antebellum plantation, admiring the outrageous Halloween decorations in the French Quarter, antiquing on Magazine Street, swaying to live blues guitar, indulging in crawfish, alligator, étouffée and red beans and rice.
Plus all those mint juleps.
(Have you ever had a mint julep? They are cold and refreshing, garnished with sprigs of mint and filled with bourbon. Lots of bourbon. Lots and lots of bourbon. In fact, mint juleps and the ladies' predilection for them account for all those elegant "fainting couches" in fine Southern homes.)
My husband and I planned this trip a few months ago. Our traveling partners (in crime) were another couple whom we met through work but who have become great friends. Our teenage daughter was not invited. Despite many wonderful family vacations there in years past, she has other things on her plate. Like school, homework, riding, concerts and her college application essay. (Cue theme from Jaws here.) My sister graciously agreed to come and stay.
Plus, it was supposed to be a grownup trip. And, as graduation and then college loom on the horizon, I have to get used to grownup trips again.
This particular mini-break proved good practice.
With the one-hour time change, not to mention the late-night revelry, I woke most mornings after the teen had already left for school. So no "Good morning" phone calls. By afternoon, we were usually out and about while my daughter was racing between her own activities back home. There were entire days when we didn't talk. A few years ago, this would have been unthinkable.
Well, for me, at least. She's never seemed to have an issue with it.
Of course, this being 2015 — and one of us being a millenial — we did manage to text. There were some pressing issues (costumes for an upcoming horse event, for example, or reports on the puppy's bad behavior). But even these acronym-riddled updates were few and far between.
And, I was actually okay.
My daughter is fairly self-sufficient these days. Almost entirely so, if I'm honest with myself. And, there was a loving, responsible adult on premise if there had been any kind of emergency. Things at home went smoothly. (And things in NOLA? Well, you can just re-read the first paragraph.) On our last day, my daughter called and asked me to check my email.
It was the first draft of her essay.
I'm anticipating much sorrow when my daughter goes away next year (note to self: buy stock in Kleenex, STAT!). But, there will be newfound freedoms and happy excursions too.
When freshman year begins, I really don't want to be one of those mother-daughter teams that talks or texts every single day (no matter how appealing that sounds right now). I think it's better for college students if we give them some space and let them solve their own problems.
For the first time, I think I may be able to handle this.
I'll just be spending a lot of time in New Orleans, dahlin'.
If you enjoyed this post, I invite you to order a copy of my book Lovin' the Alien at www.lovinthealien.com.