Friday, April 19, 2013

A Quality Post

When we were raising our children the debate about quality time versus quantity of time raged loud and strong. I am of the mindset that children need both, that quality time spent with your children is valuable, but they also need gobs and gobs of your physical presence too.

Not necessarily sitting on the floor working a puzzle or playing tag in the backyard, although they do need that (kids are needy, aren't they?), but they need you to be the house, nearby, available. There is something very comforting about a parent's presence,  in simply knowing they're near.  I don't have any statistics or data, but in my heart I believe our 'being there' helps build a sense of security in children they carry with them throughout their lives.

Of course when your 'kids' are almost a quarter century in years you take what you can get, which is usually quality versus quantity.

So, other stuff has been going on around here this month besides the A-Z challenge-ha! I'm determined to work one such event into my A-Z post today...

Q is for Quality Time

Hubs was in Japan for a week, and while he was away I took my own mother to D.C. to visit my Daughter1, her granddaughter.  Daughter1 has officially been working in our nation's capital for two years now, and my mom had never seen her home or office.
We accidentally timed our visit to coincide with the cherry blossoms at their peak.


Do you know I do not have one single solitary photograph of the three of us in or around DC?  I'm not sure why, I guess we were busy walking, and talking, and sweating (it was almost 100 degrees the two days we were in town), plus my mom said she needed her hair cut and colored and didn't want her picture taken so I obliged because I've been there myself.

I drove down to my mom's on a Tuesday afternoon, and we got up Wednesday morning to make the three hour drive south.  We had such a lovely time traveling...the sun was shining, there was very little traffic, and we just talked and talked.  I'd also burned Alan Jackson's Precious Memories tracks to a CD so we had us a little hymn sing too.  You're allowed to do that when you're alone in the car with your mama.

Since Daughter1 was working when we got to town, my mom and I headed straight to Arlington National Cemetery.  My dad is buried there, and we intended to go by his grave since she doesn't get to do that very often.  We have a pass that allows us to drive straight to the grave site, but on this particular Wednesday it was a bit of a challenge. We encountered a funeral procession so had to pull over.

I'm convinced there is nothing quite as moving in this nation we call home, as a funeral service in Arlington National Cemetery. We watched as the caisson came down the road, and we jumped a little at the 21-gun salute. We also shed a little tear as Taps was played...impossible not to as you stand in a sea of white crosses, and the sad slow strains of that poignant tune echo across the hillside.

After leaving Arlington we made our way to the hotel near Daughter1's apartment.  She phoned when she was on the train and I may or may not have gotten a little turned around trying to get to the train station to collect her, so she ended up walking home and we just met her there.  She's used to me.

My mom loved seeing her cute place and meeting one of her roommates too. We went to dinner and my mom shared some stories with my daughter about her early married days, and about my dad, and it was just a very sweet sweet time.

On Thursday my mom and I hopped on the metro to meet Daughter1 at her office.  We didn't literally hop, but my mom was quite the trooper with all the steps and the logistics and the heat. Did I mention it was hot?  We successfully navigated the train and went to lunch with Daughter1, and then she took us up to her office, and we marveled at her very grown up life.

You do that when your kids grow up.
They amaze you a little.
A lot, actually.

After lunch Daughter1 went back to work and my mom and I ventured onto the mall to see some more cherry blossoms.

The Washington Monument is encased in scaffolding as they are still repairing damage from the 2011 earthquake.

I don't think that's a job for just anyone.

My mom sat on a bench and people watched while I crossed three streets to get a little closer to the trees. It was hot. Did I say that already?

Thursday night we did some shopping, because shopping is my mom's love language, and then had dinner and went back to the hotel.  Daughter1 spent the night with us both nights and she and I had the best time chatting and then laughing ourselves silly reading through the posts on 'When Parents Text'.  I can relate a little too well and she knows it. That's partly what she loves about me.

Friday morning we had to send her on her way, back to work because that's life in the grown up world, and my mom and I headed home.  The weather was miserable, raining cats and dogs as the saying goes, but we made it back to her house, and then I drove another two hours home to mine.

Three generations all together for two full days, and not a single photo of us girls.  Lots of real live, honest to goodness quality time though, and precious memories that will last.


  1. I had such a fun time when you guys were here. Wish you were coming back this weekend! I can't believe we didn't take a single picture of the 3 of us (selfies- hehe)!! Next time we definitely wont forget. Love you!

  2. Good morning! Oh how I love how you write! It's like reading a good book. : ) Nothing better than those kind of times with both your mother and your daughter. I haven't gotten many of them, but when I do it is precious. Glad you got to go. Oh, btw, was it hot there? ; ) Enjoy your week-end!

  3. I was so happy that we got a ton of pictures of my mom with my sister and I, cousins and in-laws at the wedding. My mom is quite elderly now and I worry she won't be with us too much longer.

  4. Joyce, this was truly a quality post of your quality time with bookend generations. I so miss my mom and its been almost 6 years since she went to heaven. My sisters and I must have mentioned a dozen times during our time together last weekend (talked about in my last two blog posts)how much Mother would have loved the weekend. So, take advantage of every opportunity with your mom with or without pictures.

  5. I agree that quality and quantity are both important. Love the photos you took. Thanks for sharing. Sounds like a wonderful trip.

    Good luck with the rest of the challenge.

  6. I´m with Debbie. I love how you write. You could really feel the love. So glad you had such a good time with your girl and mom. I wish I could still do that with my mom.
    Hope you have a good weekend!

  7. What a lovely trip! I've never been to Washington DC, but i hope when I get to someday, it is when the cherry blossoms are out - they look just stunning and I would imagine they smell even better :)

  8. I agree today with having older children I'll take quality over quantity .....they just don't have time for us like we need...only speaking for myself....It's been the hardest thing having Katelyn away...those 2 minute phone calls or just text messages just don't cut it for this Mom. Pictures look amazing of DC what a fun trip. Have a great weekend!

  9. Bestie and I are making the NINE hour trek to DC this summer. She has a friend in Maryland so she will drop me off in DC at Deanie's house. I can only imagine how hot it will be by then. Just like it will be right here in Charleston. UGH. But worth it to visit with Deanie, I'm sure. And to spend that time in the car with Bestie. So we can solve the world's problems and all that. :) So glad y'all had this time together!

  10. What a great post! Love your pictures, I have heard the cherry blossoms are to die for! Making memories, that is what its about.
    until next time... nel

  11. I agree with your quality/quantity time with our children.

    Now, the post about the time spent with your Mom and daughter made my heart smile. It will be these times that will one day be such precious memories for you.

    Oh, if I hear Taps I cry like a baby. And, oh, love that you and your Mom listened to hymns, now that really makes my heart smile. Happy weekend!

  12. Sounds like you had an amazing time. =) The pictures of the cemetery reminded me of the song Just A Dream by Carrie Underwood. Its a great song, though very sad.

  13. So glad that you were able to incorporate this visit into your A-Z challenge. And quality time it was, I'm sure - spent with your girlie and your mama.

  14. I remember hearing that constant debate over quality versus quantity, like you, I believed in both :)

    Your visit sounded delightful and the cherry blossoms were out in full bloom for you. I understand the no photos, I get caught up in enjoying the moment too and just forget about snapping away. Your words captured your lovely visit.
    Lucy from Lucy's Reality

  15. So glad the three generations got to spend some quality time together! Those cherry blossoms look delightful :)