Make It Your Own, Dog

“Sam, you are driving me crazy! Just go get a table at the bar and I’ll meet you there.” Yep, this is what my parenting has become on this tour. We are at the end of my longest stretch on the road so far and I can feel it. All bets are off and lucky for Sam, I have lost all parenting skills. On our road trip from Erie to Elmira I bought Sam some movies to watch, including Old School (the unrated version). I let him play a 4 hour improv game with the cast, even though they warned me it could get R rated. I reminded them that I am the parent who watched Ted in the hotel in New York with Sam (my movie choice) and took him to Book of Morman. All bets are off.

We are learning many many things about life on the road, and some of them are proving to be quite interesting. Jeremy’s mom Rebecca and I recently realized why the cast gets excited when someone buys donuts for a road trip (and it has nothing to do with the excitement over eating donuts but more along the lines of when someone puts a handkerchief on the door telling their roommates to go away for a bit). We learned that the late night party scene after the shows go on every night, and if we are not too exhausted, it is very very fun to participate.

Also, I have finally succumbed to the inner princess in me and have bought my own sheets, towels and bathmat for each hotel room. You just don’t know, even in the nicest of hotels, what went down in there the night before. Also, thanks to a few ladies on the tour, I have learned all about Yankee Candles and how if you bring one on the road, each hotel room will have a nice smell that will remind you of home. We got a lavender one that we are loving (and Sam really really loves lighting the match, so that’s again some great parenting.)

Also, I learned that if you spend a night in Erie, PA and that night is Monday, no restaurants are open. Even the 24 hour diner opens at 10 p.m. (“we are open for 24 hours, just not in a ROW.” to quote Stephen Wright) And so, if you need to have dinner in Erie on a Monday night, may I suggest the downtown Dollar Store. It is lovely and you can get dinner for a dollar, and also some sticker books from 1997 and the life story of many a B list celebrity. Also, you can get St. Patricks’ day decorations.

Elmira was full of history about Mark Twain (the theatre was named after him as he wrote most of his famous books there); and they have a nice Holiday Inn which is literally not walking distance to anywhere. So, if you want to be in the middle of nowhere in a hotel with rooms named after Becky Thatcher and Huck Finn, you now know where to go.

Today we are on an 11 hour bus ride to Lexington, Ky where Craig and the kids are meeting us for the weekend. I’m excited to see them and maybe drink bourbon, even though, as Jeremy’s mom pointed out, that is a “boy drink.” Our bus broke down in the middle of Ohio today for 3 hours and there was a mall that we went to while we were waiting. I wandered around with Rebecca and the boys and it took a whole hour for me to realize I was wearing my fuzzy pjs around the mall.

When I was a pre-teen, I was allowed to design my room in whatever way I wanted because my Aunt Judi was an interior designer. I picked out wallpaper that had pink lipstick kisses all over it and pink furniture galore. But my favorite part of the design was my own dressing table, like a celebrity would have. I wanted a table with lights all around it where I could sit, like a movie star, and apply my Lip Smacker lip gloss and my bright blue eye shadow before 7th grade each day. I did get the room of my pre-teen dreams and had that furniture til the day I went to college.

I had a moment in Elmira where I was with Sam in his dressing room and looked over at him applying his Pugsley makeup. He was at a dressing table with lights all around it. It was my dressing table (except not pink.) It was the craziest moment for me. I sat there, looking at myself in those lights. The Lip Smacker is now Mac lip gloss and I don’t wear eye shadow, but I do put anti wrinkle cream under my eyes. But I’m still that little girl inside, looking at myself in the mirror, hoping my dreams will come true. Except that they have come true, in a different way, and in a way I couldn’t have predicted. We make our grown up homes and rooms what we want them to be so we feel safe and comfortable and happy at the end of the day. Why can’t we do this with our lives? I say we can, as long we keep our eyes focused on who we are inside.

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