IF IT TAKES A VILLAGE to raise a child, then it takes a whole city to go on vacation without them. And thanks to the kindness of family and friends, Smartmom and Hepcat were able to go to San Francisco to attend Cousin Sarah's wedding.
Truly, an Academy Award-type speech is in order to thank all those who made Smartmom and Hepcat's Thursday thru Monday hiatus from parental responsiblity possible. Because while the vacationing parents were off drinking latte at the very boho Caffe Trieste in North Beach, checking out the Roy Lichtenstein show at SFMOMA, dancing the night away on the Tall Ship Balcutha, or visiting relatives in the hills of Mill Valley, the kids back in Brooklyn were having a royal good time.
First and foremost, the fact that Teen Spirit and OSFO were left in the loving and capable care of Beautiful Smile made everything possible. She even made her famous fried chicken, mashed potatoes and green beans for supper, in addition to other tasty specialties.
Groovy Aunt pretty much devoted herself full time to the needs and desires of OSFO and Teen Spirit. Thursday night meant playing the "homework heavy" and overseeing Henry's English and Science papers. She also helped OSFO study for her Friday morning spelling test. Each school morning, she met Beautiful Smile, OSFO, and Teen Spirit at the Mojo for breakfast. She even walked OSFO to school. What a woman!
Profuse thanks are also due to Groovy Brother-in-law, who provided copious amounts of root beer, ferried the crew to a sneak preview of "Finding Neverland" on Saturday night, prepared a delicious Sunday brunch for the brood, and put up with the ever-rambunctious and not always friendly OSFO and her chatty pal when they tore up the apartment in the throes of rigorous imaginary play. She thanks him too for doing without his groovy wife, Groovy Aunt, for most of the weekend while she was running around like a crazy woman.
And then there was Halloween.
Sounds like it was a 12-hour funathon. First Groovy Aunt got OSFO dressed in her elaborate Snow Queen get-up. The two then attended a Halloween party at a local private school. Later, she took OSFO and a friend trick-or-treating on every floor of her 6-story apartment building, in addition to stores on Seventh Avenue and some brownstones on the side streets. They ended the day at Park Slope's famous Halloween Parade where they ran into Teen Spirit, Beautiful Smile and many friends. Teen Spirit dressed in dungarees and a jean jacket, said that he was "an angst-ridden teenager, a 'muggle," himself, and a character in 'West Side Story." He walked the parade with Best Buddy who was dressed as a "Rocky Horror Picture Show"-style transvestite.
Groovy Grandma also played a key role in the care and feeding of OSFO and Teen Spirit while Smartmom and Hepcat were gone. On Saturday, she and Teen Spirit had a day of togetherness and memorable conversation. The two went to see "Ray," the new Ray Charles bio-pic, which they both loved. The next day Groovy Grandma joined Groovy Aunt, Groovy Brother-in-Law, and the kids for a Halloween brunch at Groovy Aunt's comfortable abode.
And let's not forget Groovy Grandpa, Teen Spirit's idol and kindred spirit. They went to see a terrible movie called, "Shall We Dance," but had loads of fun just the same.
On Monday evening, Smartmom and Hepcat jet blued to New York on the red eye. They slept most of the way and arrived at JFK at five in the morning on Tuesday. OSFO, Teen Spirit, and Beautiful Smile were fast asleep when they arrived home at 6 a.m. The two continental travelers collapsed in their bed and were joyfully awakened at nine in the morning by OSFO just in time to go to the polls to vote for John Kerry and John Edwards!
What a wonderful weekend for all. A chance for OSFO and Teen Spirit to hang with doting relatives. A honeymoon-like haven for Hepcat and Smartmom who were far, far, far from the madding crowd on Third Street.