We spent Ashlyn’s 18th birthday in San Francisco. My brother lives there and my other brother and sister-in-law flew in to surprise her.
She was a little overwhelmed by the crowds and the noise and I was a little overwhelmed by how in the world you find your way around such a big city.
If the weekend hadn’t been planned for us, we would probably still be riding a train loop wearing headphones.
On our last day of the trip, my brother and sister-in-law had already headed home and my other brother had to go to work.
After hugging goodbyes, we took the train to the airport.
My heart started beating a little fast as the doors closed and Ashlyn asked if we were supposed to get off on the next stop.
I had absolutely no idea.
My I’m-your-mom-so-I’ll-lead-the-way impression worked and she trusted me as I pretended to figure out the transit map.
Managing to connect the little dots with our stops, I held her hand each of the twenty times she started to get off at the wrong location and she sat back down giggling.
By the time we made it to the airport my heart was only beating at half-a-pot-of-coffee speed as we tried to get to our gate on time.
Being fairly unskilled in eye-foot-hand coordination I managed to get our suitcase and myself lodged in an entryway and before I could decide what to do Ashlyn had already hit the suitcase running with her full body, landing us right in front of the airport shuttle.
We reached our gate just as our flight was boarding and she stood in front of me waiting to hand over her ticket.
We laughed on the ride home about her suitcase tackle and my coordination and double-checked that we weren’t on our way to Alaska.
When we landed in Michigan, I hugged her at Baggage Claim and told her how great it was to spend the weekend together.
Still thinking about our trip to the airport she said, “I’m just glad we made it, Mom.”
Eighteen years of finding our way, and I’m just glad we did it too.
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