Sunday, October 23, 2005
Weekend at Lizzie's
For our fifth anniversary, Willem and I decided to go down to the Lizzie Borden House in Fall River, Mass. Lest this sound totally bizarre and unromantic, it was a place I wanted to go but didn't want to take the kids, and when else would we have a reason to travel someplace nice without the kids?!?

So to prepare for this, my mother-in-law came out to watch the kids. The prospect of this was, to indulge in a moment of understatement, daunting to me, but she had offered, rather vehemently, quite a while ago, and I couldn't come up with a reason not to have her come out. So out she came, though of course the mere act of getting her here was a snafu.

She was scheduled to arrive on Wednesday at 3:00, at the airport. Her plane was 3 1/2 hours late. Which, okay, I guess you're right, that's probably not entirely her fault. Maybe.

And normally, I wouldn't care. Planes get delayed, weather is bad in the Northeast in the fall, etc. But this time, I had made these big plans to surprise her for her birthday, because I irritate myself greatly with a tendency to treat people the way I want to be treated, not the way they treat me. So I had gotten in touch with her sister, and she and her husband had driven up from New Jersey to surprise my mother-in-law for a week-early birthday celebration. So the delayed flight meant more juggling of plans. Just sign me up for the circus!

We planned to meet Aunt and Uncle at the restaurant next to their hotel, by me claiming a sudden and desperate need for ice cream in the evening. But wiht the plan delayed, we had to drive directly to the restaurant. This wasn't awkward, however, due to the presence of a certain 5-year-old, ice-cream-obsessed individual in the car. So we parked, and walked in.

As we were approaching the restaurent, I could see where Aunt and Uncle were sitting. So when we got to the hostess booth, I just sailed on by and walked straight to the back, where they were. Willem knew what was going on, but my mother-in-law was following behind us totally befuddled and growing increasingly anxious for my own sense of social propriety. Especially since Aunt and Uncle were hiding behind their menus, so it looked like I came in, went straight to a table, and sat down with a pair of strangers. It wasn't until they lowered their menus that mother-in-law got the idea, and then there was much rejoicing.

The next day we spent visiting Emily's school, custom-making teddy bears and visiting a Children's Museum, followed by a seafood dinner out. All specifically designed to give mother-in-law and her sister a good day, and, I'm pleased to report, it did.

She even said, "Thank you," to me. Will wonders never cease!

Willem and I left the following day for our weekend, but this post is already long enough...