It was Summer 2003. I was a semi-young mother – 30 years old – with two small children and was away from them for the first time. Not just away, but across the entire country in Palm Springs, CA, away.
My sweet cousin was getting married later that year so the women in my family – my grandmother, two aunts, two cousins and I – decided to have a weekend together to celebrate her upcoming nuptials. We shopped, we ate leisurely meals, we laughed and talked with no kids or husbands around to demand our attention.
|Palm Springs 2010|
I remember very clearly coming out of a shop and calling my husband to see how things were going at home. I could hear him trying to heat up one of the meals I had left them while our 3 year old daughter was chatting non-stop and our 1 year old son was screaming his head off.
After hubby and I’s very brief conversation I was quite upset, worried my little family was suffering without me there. I was nearly in tears when I walked up to my lovely aunt – a preacher’s wife and former elementary school principal – and told her about the home front situation. I’m not sure exactly how I expected her to respond, a hug, maybe, or an offer to pray. What my conservative aunt actually said caught me totally off guard.
“Honey, let’s go let me buy you a drink.”
She did and we laughed and told stories about kids and husbands and homes and how it’s good for them all to sometimes fend for themselves. Make ‘em appreciate us wives/mothers more when we get back.
We thought that trip in 2003 would be a one-time thing, but we all liked it so much, enjoyed each other’s company so much, we made The Girls Trip into a near yearly tradition. We’ve been all over: Palm Springs (twice), Vegas (twice), Santa Fe, Portland, and even a cruise to the Bahamas. Tomorrow we’re off to Charleston, SC for the 2012 Girls’ Trip.
Our group has grown through the years - we’ve added more cousins as they’ve become older. This year we add a new member again: my brother’s new bride.
I love the Girls’ Trips. I love all the different places we go. I love that we sometimes skip the main entrees in our meals and go straight from appetizers to dessert. I love actually putting on make-up and jewelry and high-heel shoes for our outings.
But most of all, I am so thrilled that I have gotten to know these ladies – who I am blessed to call family – as women. I have gotten to laugh and cry and raise a toast to each of them – including my grandmother, who is as big a cut-up on these trips as any of us. These women always be my family, but now I know they will also always be my friends.