Posted by: bourbonmama | 11/08/2009

Remembering Why

Philip is the outdoors-man.  At least once a month, he just has to go out into the wild.  Every winter he and his friends take a camping trip in the Appalachian mountains.  Yes, every winter, usually in Feb, which is the crappiest month of winter.  This year, they camped out on top of 6 inches of snow, after hiking 9.5 miles through a frickin’ blizzard.  Yeah, I know. 

Philip and his love of nature is one of the many places that we differ.  While I love to go to The Gorge, I don’t like to push it to the limit, like he does.  This has ruined many hiking expeditions.  What with all my whining and him telling me to suck it up.  Then, a couple of friends invited us on a canoe trip.  Canoeing and camping, no hiking.  Philip mentioned it, thinking I’d say no right away.

“No, hiking?  Only camping and rowing a canoe, right?”


“And, when?”

“September 4th through the 6th.”

“So, we’d have to leave Nate.”

“Oh, yeah, I guess we can’t go.”  And, the subject was dropped.  But, I couldn’tget it out of my head.  We need this.  We’ve been having a rough time lately.  We need some time alone, without the kid, to remind us why we’re with each other. 

“Maybe your mom could keep Nate for us.  I think we should try and go.  I think it’d be good for us.”  I tell him a few days later.  “Maybe it’s early enough that she could ask off work.”

“I already talked to her.  She said she can do it Friday night and Saturday afternoon, but she works Saturday and Sunday night.  What about your parents, can they keep him?”

“No.  Definitely not.”

“Caroline, you don’t think your mom can do it?”


“C’mon, Bab–”

“End it.  We can’t go.”  And, he did.  Philip has learned not to push the subject of my mother.  He has been told too many times that he has no idea what it’s like.  And, he doesn’t.  I just don’t trust her.  I can’t, she’s never given me any reason to.  I know she loves her grandchild and would never put him in harm’s way.  I know that he would only be spoiled.  I know that nothing bad would happen.  But there’s that nagging feeling that something could.  It’s the could that’s keeping me from allowing her to gain my trust. 

So, last night, Nate and I went to see her and my dad.  After dinner, I asked him if he wanted to go see Nana.  “Ni-ni!  Ni-ni!”  He yells as he gets his shoes on.  He says it again as we pull up in the driveway. 

And, then I did it.  I asked her if she and my dad could keep him for us so Philip and I could have a weekend that very may well save us.  And she said yes, of course.  And, I felt a weight lift off my heart.  A weight that I didn’t even know was there.  It’d been there for so long, I’d gotten used to it.  The weight that’s been keeping me from forgiving her.  A weight that she’ll never know about.  Because it only affected me.



  1. beautiful. i love your writing. i’m so excited for your trip. i’m glad you gave your mom a chance, even if she doesn’t know it’s a chance.

    • me, too.

  2. Wow. So much good here. I’m glad you’re getting away and I’m glad you’re giving your mom a shot. It’s hard doing both of those things, but so worth it. I hope that the canoe doesn’t tip and that there’s good times had by all.

  3. I hope you have an amazing trip!

  4. That was a very touching story about you and your mother.
    A man to a women, do your best not to complain once. Your husband will love it as you are doing something for him.

  5. It’s so nice to get away sometimes. I always end up feeling guilty if we don’t take the kids, but time just for adults is needed to keep our sanity! Try not to worry about your little one, just relax and enjoy yourself… however, I also know that is easier said than done.

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