Hope Springs for Eternal Youth {And Yearns for a Mom’s Weekend Away}

Last weekend my friend and I went to see the movie “Hope Springs.”  Before the movie started, while sitting in the theatre eating our kids pack popcorn and soda {don’t judge; we had coupons that had been floating around the bottom of a diaper bag and they were FREE} we got on the topic of what we would do with a mom’s weekend away.  She said all she would want is to stay at the Four Seasons, lounge at the pool all day and order room service.  A completely relaxing weekend.  “Wouldn’t you do the same?” she asked.

My response was, “Hell no!  I want to drink like I’m 21, dance on tables and pretend I don’t have a family.”  Of course I was joking; I haven’t danced on any tables since I was in my 20’s and who can forget they have a family?  It did get me thinking, though, because for me a mom’s weekend away rarely happens.

I do go to Los Angeles each year, but that doesn’t count because I’m working and usually too tired to function let alone dance on any tables.  But I do take a yearly trip to Las Vegas.  I call it “trying to relive my youth,” and each year it gets harder and harder.  And it’s not so much the drinking but the lack of sleep.

My personal clock now has me waking up by 7 a.m. every day, regardless of if my daughter has woken me up or not.  So, when I don’t get home until 2 or 3 a.m., after a night of drinking, five hours of sleep is not enough time for recovery.

And let’s talk about the physical symptoms.  My face stays puffy for hours, my bloodshot eyes are hard to mask and my hands get so swollen I can’t get my wedding rings on.  And if dancing is involved, regardless of the type of shoes worn, {last time it was ballet flats, really} my poor feet!

So, I have to ask myself is it all worth it?  And the answer is a resounding yes.  For me, as a stay-at-home-mom, my days are spent solving problems, managing melt downs, making sure we aren’t living in squalor, running errands for the family, and minding the family budget {hence the free kids pack.}

For one weekend a year, I get to remember what my life was like before I gave up my job and devoted myself to my family.  That girl is still in there somewhere and she’s a huge part of who I am and who I want my daughter to be.  She jumped on stage with the band, came home when the sun was coming up and travelled freely.  She had fun and she lived her life.  For herself.

As for “Hope Springs” it was good.  Kay {Meryl Streep} and Arnold {Tommy Lee Jones} are a couple who have been married for 31 years.  They sleep in separate beds, eat meals together in silence, and rarely talk to each other.  Kay is lonely and wants to fix their marriage, so she books them for a weekend in Great Hope Springs, ME for a retreat with marriage counselor, Dr. Feld {Steve Carrell.}

“Hope Springs” Photo: Lionsgate

Arnold is a less than willing participant, but he shows up nonetheless.  In the end, they get through a lot of embarrassing and difficult work to realize they do still love each other.  Would a mom’s weekend away each year have helped Kay remember the girl she was before she married Arnold?  It couldn’t have hurt.

The reality is we are complex human beings.  We change and adapt to different situations and we grow as people and want different things as we become more mature.  But we should not forget who we were, or where we came from.  It is part of who we are now, and it is vital to being a rounded human being.  We can give ourselves to our families for 363 days a year, but for two days, we can party like its 1999.  Or sit by the pool and order room service.  The choice is yours, and that’s the key.

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