I had made an executive decision to not tell her anything that Friday held in store for her. This meant that when her head hit the pillow on Thursday evening, she knew not that the next evening her head would be resting on another pillow, in another town as our big weekend got under way. She knew nothing other than that she would get up the next day, eat breakfast and hang out at home with B and I.
However, little did I know that this was EXACTLY what she was WANTING to do with her Good Friday break.
Once she woke for the day I told her she might want to get ready, as I had planned a big day...just for her.
(Then so did I.)
She informed me that she wasn't interested in a big day. Not a girl day. Not a day focused solely on her. Nadda. Zip.
She was only interested in a day, staying and playing AT HOME.
I called her bluff and said, "So...you want me to call Aunt Sissy and Corban and tell them that you don't want to go with them on a 'girls day'?"
She said, "Yes."
(Seriously, in that moment, I felt like I could have a nervous breakdown. In my mental playbook of how this day was to go down, this move was NOT included.)
She wasn't budging, she was crying, but she wasn't budging......and she was only crying because I thought she might be spoiled.
So, I did what I do when I don't know what else to do. I dialed Aunt Sissy, told her she didn't want to go and then handed the phone over to L.
I then went outside to feed our orphan calf and said a prayer that A) I could keep my emotions (and disappointment) in check and B) my daughter would humor me.....just this once.
I returned to the house to find L smiling and talking animatedly on the couch. I took the phone back and asked Aunt Sissy what kind of voo-doo magic she had just worked and she (the one without children) said to me, "It's early, she's tired....cut her some slack. I just told her we were going to Kansas City and she's game."
Sure. OK. I will remember that next time. Apparently the whole "secrecy" thing wasn't working .
So, she started getting ready for our Kansas City trip.
I still had a few cards up my sleeve though........
L didn't know we were staying the night and she still had no idea about the 'main event'. I had packed two days before and our suitcase was already loaded.
B was excited to go see a movie with Mi Mi and L had a new pep in her step.
We arrived in KC pretty early and had plenty of time before our hotel check in. While filling up with gas I asked L when she thought we should head back home.
She thought maybe 3:00 pm. I told her that only gave us 2 1/2 hours....and we had driven longer than THAT.
She reconsidered and said, "maybe 6".
I nodded, "That would give us more time.....but what if we stayed the night?"
Folks, I think that could have been the main surprise because she was so happy at the thought of a motel.
Motel 6. Econo Lodge. Budget Inn.
She didn't care. A hotel is a hotel is a hotel.
We ended up killing some time at a mall. Yes, there is a mall within 45 minutes of our house, but where is the fun in that?
So, instead we drove across the state line and to the Oak Park Mall where we all saw our first double decker carousel.
And, yes, we rode it.
Then as we shopped, L made friends with mannequins.
After visiting only one store, we stopped at Build-A-Bear and L brought to life a new friend.....you know, 'to remember the weekend'.
Her name was Rose.
We checked into our hotel and asked L what she would want to do that evening if she could pick anything at all.
She said, "swim".
I'll admit, I was going for something a little bigger.
When we broke the news that I didn't pack a bathing suit and our hotel didn't have a pool....we asked her again, "what would you do, if you could do anything at all?"
She smiled and sheepishly said, "a concert."
Aunt Sissy said, "who?...."
We all started laughing and I finally said, "You know what..? You ARE in luck."
She smiled a big smile and then said, "I am so excited!!!.....I don't even know what to say."
Then, in true motherly fashion, I said, "Aren't you glad you didn't stay home today?"
The forecast, which had predicted thunderstorms, ended up being wrong. The day was beautiful as we made our way to the venue.
As the time grew nearer, L became more and more excited. She didn't mind the opening acts, but she was definitely there to see:
We were all ready for the show to get under way.
"You Belong With Me"
The next morning L's smile reflected the joy of the night before.
We snapped a pic of our hotel, The Raphael, before grabbing a bite to eat at the Cheesecake Factory and making our 3 1/2 hour trek back home.....just in time for our family Easter celebration, which didn't take place on Easter.
We started preparing for the big Easter egg hunt and corralled the kids and stuck them in dad's office. We drew the blinds and shut the door because no peeking was allowed.
The kids anticipation of finding the "golden (this year it was Reynold's aluminum foil silver) egg" was so much that they were giddy with excitement.
When one of the bunny's helpers came in and briefed the group on the parameters of the hunting grounds, the kids were released.
Then all the grandkids and their spouses gathered for their chance to capture a moment in time with Grandpa.
The kids hunted eggs.....(again)
......in their jammies.....
with B only taking a break once to lower his britches and pee, right there in the front yard.
After church the kids hunted eggs (again).
After church, while Aunt Sissy, mom and I, were working on getting lunch ready, Steven got "ready for the next day" and Pa Pa played in the dirt pile with B.
Pa Pa gave B pointers.
In fact, I have to agree with L when she said that this "was the best Easter ever" and with B when he said that he "didn't think the name Magic Man was working for him."