Women’s Weekend in (New) Jersey

American flag at Paramus Park mall, New Jersey

American flag at Paramus Park mall, New Jersey

One of the hardest things about living far away from loved ones is not being able to be there in person for various family events. We do the best we can, and mid-next week I’m heading across the Pond to see some very important women — and one very important young man — in New Jersey.

The special occasion is a bridal shower for my son’s fiancée, something I really wanted to be part of. By two brilliant coincidences, it’s close in date to my son’s birthday and relatively close in driving time to where my mom lives.

So I’ll be able to combine visits to Mom (and seeing close-up how her leg is healing), time with the beautiful young woman who will soon be my daughter-in-law, or to use the wonderful French word, ma belle-fille (love that expression: literally beautiful daughter but with hyphen translates to daughter-in-law), seeing several of my closest female family and friends, and a major treat of one-on-one time with a certain tall, blond young man who is approaching a significant birthday.

My soon-to-be belle-fille and her groom, 2014 Thanksgiving

My soon-to-be belle-fille and her groom, 2014 Thanksgiving

Clive and I usually travel together but this time he’ll stay home in Felixstowe. He has several DIY projects planned (ie, can make lots of noise and mess while I’m away), doesn’t mind staying by the sea and missing the forecasted 30+C/85-90F NJ temperatures (not to mention summer airport crowds), and would be left on his own anyway while I get together with many wonderful women. I’ll also spend extra time just sitting and being with my mom at her assisted living residence.

If there’s one thing I’ve learned over the years, it’s that we can’t be everywhere at once, can’t keep everyone happy with our schedule and can’t do everything we wish we could. Perhaps this is true for many parents and grandparents, even if families live close by. Our guiding principle is to do what we can, when we can, while we can. More about brides, birthdays and Jersey girls in next week’s letter.

August visit with my favourite Jersey girl, 2013

August visit with my favourite Jersey girl, 2013

Cheers and thanks for reading. Next week’s letter will be from New Jersey.

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