Small Talk

Just a BeanTown Bonanza

I just got back from another trip to Boston. Now you are probably envisioning the Freedom Trail, Old North Church, Boston Harbor and perhaps a stroll around Cambridge. Nope. My points of interest this trip were Ikea, Costco, Target, Bed, Bath and Beyond, and finally, the floor of the most adorable brick-covered, bay-windowed apartment ever.
My son and his sweetie indulged me in a new-apartment power-shop-o-rama that was pure joy. I let his dad fly in a day late because, being a typical guy, he would rather gargle drain cleaner than shop. We let him make it up by spending the next day assembling furniture from zillions of small boards and screws. It was better than Christmas morning.
My son managed to gracefully spend six hours walking that fine line between being a guy and keeping both his sweetie and his mom happy. It helped that we were furnishing his apartment, and he soldiered through. He knew there would be clean sheets, fluffy towels and a full refrigerator when all was said and done.
Every mom out there will understand when I say I loved every minute of it. Since this child chose to travel to the opposite coast for college, he moved several times before I got to be part of the action. I spent this shopping day venting five years of frustrated mothering that had been on hold.
Every time we made another stop, he and his girlfriend would be certain we could not fit another pillowcase in the overstuffed four-door sedan we rented. I knew better. Once you’ve packed a car for a family vacation, you know there is always room for one more box somewhere.
It may mean you ride sardined between bags with your head stuck under one thing and another on your lap, but it can be done. We laughed ourselves silly and, for all the madness, it will remain one of my favorite memories.
Then, late Sunday afternoon, we decided we had to find the nearest laundromat and make a dent in the dirty clothes pile. I pictured a taxi. They presumed bicycles and laundry-bag backpacks. The next thing I know, I am on a bicycle, wobbling and careening across major intersections with 20 pounds of laundry on my back. I don’t think it was on my bucket list, but maybe it should have been. It was high adventure.
It was a weekend of shameless, motherly self-indulgence, topped off with the Boston University Medical School Class of 2015 White Coat Ceremony. I promise I won’t talk about it again for four years, but let me say it was one of life’s peak experiences. I came very close to a spontaneous cartwheel and back flip right in front of everybody. And no, I can’t do either one.
Surviving the bike ride helped, but watching those beautiful, bright faces launching into their futures made it very clear that absolutely anything is possible.