Sophie Day

posted Monday October 11th, 2010

Annabelle and I are hitting the road.

This week is our Fall Break and on Thursday, Annabelle and I leave for a four-day trip to Portland.


Annabelle and Ray have been away alone together several times — on a Brownie camping trip, and skiing at least once or twice. So I decided it was time AB and I take a trip on our own. I told her it would happen when she turned 9, and let her pick the city (within reason, I’m not sure what I would have done if she’d decided on Paris) and she chose Portland, Oregon.

This is in no small part because she’s got a friend there. Claire is the granddaughter of my mother’s very best friend, and after several attempts at hooking the girls up during various visits over the years, last spring it really took: These two precocious, curly-headed, older sisters announced they were BFF. They’ve been pen pals since — an eternity, in a 9-year-old’s world — and itching for a visit.

I bought plane tickets, booked a hotel room and started picking and choosing itinerary items. We’ll spend time with Claire and her family, check in with some of my pals and have some quality alone time. And maybe a VooDoo Donut.

There’s just one problem. Sophie.

(And, to be honest, Ray. He claims he doesn’t understand why I’m doing this. But that’s another story.)

It’s hard to say if Sophie “gets” the whole concept. She definitely wants to come along, does not want to wait til it’s her turn for a one-on-one trip. I promised we’ll go when she’s 9, but I’m sure it will happen much sooner. She’s already chosen her destination: Colorado, to see her cousins.

Envisioning a tearful farewell on Thursday, I took an extra day off work and declared Wednesday “Sophie Day.”

She did like the sound of that. “We can do whatever you want to do, all day long!” I told Sophie. Her face lit up and she did that thing where she vibrates all over.

So far, plans include a play date with a friend from school and a very long trip to Chuck E. Cheese. Maybe the bookstore, chocolate fro-yo and a dinner date at the mall with Gaga and Papa.

“Sophie Day” has served as a distraction, but I’m not so sure it will ease Sophie’s sadness or lessen my guilt when it comes time to get on that plane.

I  hope I’m making the right call with this trip.

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Tags: Filed under: Down syndrome, motherhood, sisters, travel by Amysilverman

7 Responses to “Sophie Day”

  1. yes, you are!

  2. Oh I think she’ll enjoy her special daddy time- a nice father /daughter breakfast, popcorn in front of a movie (Toy Story or Ice Age is my recommendation). But she’ll miss you and you’ll get one of those super duper, jump on top of you welcomes- hooray!
    Have a wonderful time- sounds like a great tradition!

  3. I think it will be great for everyone. I totally get the guilt, but truly, I think it will be wonderful.

    And, Portland? Of course it will be awesome! ;-)
    Give my favorite city a squeeze for me, will you?

  4. One-on-one time is ALWAYS the right choice. It so rarely happens. I’m still planning these trips — my kids are 17 and 15. The long-term value outweighs the guilt you’ll feel upon goodbye, which will be fleeting. Remember when our mothers used to tell us, “Life isn’t fair”? I’ve tried to limit myself in saying that to my kids, but it’s true. One person’s fair always comes at a “cost” to someone else (public education!). You’ve created an excellent balance with Sophie Day. BOTH girls are blessed to call you mom.

  5. Ohh..good mom!! As a former “Even Sister” I would have killed for some one-on-one time. Have a happy, happy Sophie Wednesday and a well-deserved Portland Playdate!

  6. oh Amy you are too hard on yourself… I wish instead of feeling guilty you felt only grateful… grateful that you get to take a great trip, and grateful that Sophie gets to learn to cope with sadness under the loving guideance of her dad:)

  7. thank you, trish. i’ve learned from the best — you! and of course you were all right. everyone did just fine. and sophie/ray had a ball.

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