Asheville treated us well, as always. Meeting up with friends downtown, excellent hosts at the Sweet Biscuit Inn, browsing vintage stores and smelling the incense burning in one of any number of hippie outlets. Claire and I started calling it our "girls' weekend" and I think it should become a new tradition: just she and I, shopping and eating and giggling in a bed that we don't have to make in the morning.
The Dan Zanes concert was awesome. The venue was packed when we got there, with kids dressed as flower children and parents to match. Had I been alone with Claire, we probably would've hung back, squeezed into a spot where we could barely feel part of the crowd. But our friends are braver than I, and well-practiced at being band groupies, and so we plopped into the space that more polite folks had left up front near the stage. When the band started playing, my daughter was with her girlfriends, in the middle and up front of what would become the dance floor, jumping up and down and grooving her little heart out. If their current moves are any indication, these gals are going to be trouble come college. Send the chastity belts.
Best remark ever, from a dad friend: "I just ordered two Newcastles and two juice boxes at the same bar. It was weird." Sounds like my kind of place.
We woke the next morning, juicebox hangover-free, and enjoyed a relaxed breakfast of waffles and eggs and bacon at the inn. The owners' son was babysitting a five-year-old boy, and Claire jumped right in to paying soccer in the front yard and army guys on the staircase. When I finally managed to get her and our stuff into the car, she made me promise that we could return really soon.
The drive home took forever. Less you think this whole weekend of single-parenting was idyllic, let me confess that around 5 pm we stopped for a fast food dinner and a bathroom. Claire refused to get back in her carseat to go, and right at that moment I wanted nothing more than a space-time transporter to get us home NOW. The constant chatter had turned from endearing and cute to just plain annoying, and I'm sure she was fed up with me as well.
This morning we are back to routine. Ron returned last night from his conference and is off to work this morning. At home, we're doing dishes and laundry and arguing about who gets the pink bowl for breakfast. Getting away was good, though. In two days, I felt like the hours stretched into more and that the gift of time escaping with Claire reminded me to listen more carefully, act silly more often, and dance like a nut, right up front.