I have since gotten married and have a baby of my own. Thankfully, I am no longer ‘the single daughter.’ As I have mentioned, I live in the DC suburbs, while Mom and Dad and all of the rest of my family live in the Philadelphia area, where I grew up. So now when I visit Florida, Mom introduces me as “my daughter who moved far away from me, as opposed to my other daughter who chose to stay near her mother.”
In spite of this introduction, I still visit Mom and Dad at Harbor View once a year, except now those visits include my husband and our daughter. Unfortunately, now all of us cannot sleep on the pull-out sofa in the living room of Mom and Dad’s condo. We have to stay at a nearby hotel instead.
I knew that Mom would be thrilled when I told her that we wouldn’t be staying at her condo anymore because I thought it was too small and cramped, and that their sofa bed was very uncomfortable. I knew she would be happy that we wouldn’t be there to mess up her morning routine or clutter the apartment. She actually had a song in her voice when she replied, “That’s too bad; we’ll miss you staying with us.” My husband, on the other hand, was less than thrilled.
“Sweetheart, if we stay in a hotel when we visit your folks,” he said to me, “it’s going to cost quite a bit of money. After all, it is high season in Florida that time of year.”
“Well, what can we do? I’m not staying in their small condo,” I replied.
“How about if we just go to an island this year? It’ll cost the same amount of money.”
“But that’s not the point, honey. We’re not just going for vacation, we’re also going to see my parents,” I said.
“Name one good reason I would have for choosing Florida with your folks for vacation over a beautiful, sunny, tropical island?” he questioned me.
“Mom and Dad will babysit so we can go out,” I answered him.
“Start packing, we’re going to Florida,” he replied.