Lately I had been finding myself a little less patient than I would like to be. The calm mommy left the building very quickly to be replaced with her crazy evil twin. Part of the problem is that I have been working on very little sleep. You would think that when you had a 10 year old, two seven year olds and a three year old, everyone would sleep through the night. There have been many nights that we have had all three of them up, God bless you Grace! I'm pretty sure that sleep deprivation has been a contributing factor. The main contributor is the stress involved with being me, and never having 5 minutes to myself. I can't even go to the bathroom in peace. I completely acknowledge what you all already know, I can't cry too hard about this, because I have pretty much created the situation that I am in. I really do need to demand some personal time... but I don't.
Enter my wonderful husband. He had heard a radio program about the Royal York, and a promotion that they were running. Essentially the promotion consisted of an insanely cheap rate and tickets to Canada Blooms. Did I mention that my husband and I have been married for 18 years, and of the 17 years that we have been parents we have been away from the kids for a grand total of 3 times? We were due. We sent the big kids off to Grandma's in Acton, and Elly stayed with Nana and Popa. Sadly the thing that I was most looking forward to about the trip was a full night's sleep.
The other sad part of this story is that the mini-vacation came about because about two years ago Elly head bunted me and broke my nose. I could not even go to the hospital, because at the time my husband was in agony with his stomach, which we discovered shortly after was appendicitis that nearly ended with a ruptured appendix (if we did not have bad luck we'd have no luck at all). As a consequence of the broken nose I can no longer properly breath through my nose, and my nose looks a little like the letter "C". I was refereed to a really nice ear nose and throat doctor in Peterborough, who took one look and knew it was beyond him. He then refereed me to a really nice nose specialist (I'm pretty sure that is not his official title) who also happens to be a plastic surgeon. I saw him a few months back and it was decided that surgery was in order. I had to come back March 19 to make the final surgical arrangements before the actual surgery in May. Long story short, this wonderful, magical mini-vacation came into existence because Elly broke my nose.
So Sunday afternoon we found ourselves in the BIG city. I love Toronto. Everything is so BIG, and so energetic. I feel completely alive when I visit. We registered, and went up to our room. I would like to say that my fantasies about the Royal York did not steer me wrong. As a York University student all those years ago, traveling to Union Station to catch my train back home to Tweed, I would look over at that grand structure that is the Royal York. It harkened back to times when people cared about workmanship. It was so elegant. I would imagine myself as a rich woman walking through the revolving doors with the gold handles. My dreams came true, well not the rich woman part.
The best word to describe the Royal York is opulent. It is stunning. Here's a little something for your history books, The Royal York began construction in 1927, and opened it's doors in 1929. At that time it was the tallest building in the British Commonwealth. It's hard to look at that majestic building that is stunted by the huge buildings surrounding it, not to mention the CN Tower, and think that it was once the largest. It has been visited by celebrities and most notably Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip.
We dumped our things in our beautiful room, and then caught a taxi to Canada Blooms (I'll share that tomorrow). When we had seen everything at Canada Blooms, we caught a street car back to the hotel. We explored the hotel a little and just vegged in our room until we were bored and hungry. We walked down to The Old Spaghetti Factory. It is one of my favourite restaurants. We sat and carried on an entire conversation, interrupted only by our waiter. I ate a hot meal, so hot in fact that I burned my mouth. I can't remember the last hot meal prior to this that I ate. We smiled, we laughed. It was at that point that I notice my shoulders. I notice that they felt, relaxed. I also notice that my forehead was not furrowed. I was de-stressing. We walked back up to the hotel, hand in hand. The night was beautiful, the city at night was breath taking. It was as if we left a little bit of stress behind us with each step we took.
The moral of this story is ... to be a good mother and wife, you need to be a little selfish sometimes. On the way home from picking up the three big kids I was able to recognize the extra patience. There were times that they were fighting with each other that I would have screamed at them two days before. This time I calmly reminded them to play nicely. Maybe it's not really selfish to recharge your batteries.