This weekend was the best Christmas gift ever. I got to hang out with my kids all weekend.
We started off at the Sky Zone, a place with a sea of trampolines to play on. It was so much fun watching my 16- and 20-year-old kids play. They were flipping around and literally bouncing off the trampoline walls. For that short period of time, they were like little kids again, and I loved it. It has been a while since they could just act like little kids together since they are busy with high school/college, work and busy social lives. After wearing them out some, I figured I should feed them. So we sat down to have a meal together. Again, another rare thing these days.
After that, we headed over to the Georgia Aquarium. There, we were entertained with endless aquatic life, dancing mermaids, and a dolphin show. The kids even got their caricature drawn, which is something we did about 10 years ago at a Sea World trip. (Apparently fish and caricatures just go together. Go figure.)
I wrapped the evening up at the Fox Theater in downtown Atlanta to watch the Atlanta Ballet’s production of the Nutcracker. (The kids had no interest in this part of the day, so they had sibling time at the hotel.) Wow. The theater was an event all to itself. It was so ornate and full of history (that I will have to look up now). It was like every corner of the building had a new surprise. There was a gold organ in front of the stage where an elderly gentleman played amazing music. The ceiling was blue and had twinkling lights that resembled stars. The front of the stage looked like a castle. I was in complete awe! Now the ballet itself….another wow. It was utterly impressive. From the set to the costumes to the performance, it was perfection. (And no one in the audience was annoyingly given commentary through the show!) It was the most beautiful combination of elements merging into one glorious experience.
The only bad part of this was that I was getting a migraine. I was trying so hard to remain alert to all the wonder (and not fall on the floor with the growing pain). By the end of the evening, I was getting dizzy and nauseated though. Fortunately, I did not go to this production alone. I talked a military friend of mine into going with me. (I was a bit worried about walking around downtown Atlanta alone at night.) Thank God I did. He had to actually help me to the car since by then, I was not feeling well at all. Fortunately, my hotel was close, because by the time I was in the room, I getting sick. My kids were so sweet though. My son tried to find me aspirin, but the gift shop was closed by then. And he so sweetly offered to walk and get me some. Of course, I said, um, you walk alone in Atlanta? No way! My daughter was doing her best to help me and make me laugh and forget the pain. She even promised to make a scene in the lobby until they opened the gift shop for us to buy the medicine.
Fortunately, the next morning I was better. Which was a good thing since it was paintball day for my son. While he was paintballing his heart out, my daughter and I went walking around the Mall of Georgia. What a great time to just hang out with her. (I actually did this with my son a few weeks back when his paintball plan was rained out. So, for someone who hates crowds and shopping, two entire days at the mall are an accomplishment!) We walked through stores laughing and talking. Saw some funny sites. And, we just enjoyed each others company.
I can honestly say my face hurt from laughing and smiling when the weekend was over. It was a perfect weekend…even with the migraine. I think the element that made it so special was the rarity of it. With the kids getting older and everyone getting busier, time together is so precious and magical. To me, the little sea dragon creature at the aquarium was symbolic for the weekend. (It also made a perfect submission for the iPhone Challenge on Sally’s blog this week ~ Challenger’s Choice, where I chose travel.) It was special, unique, rare and beautiful. What else could someone ask for in one weekend? Nothing I say.