By Randi Crawford
I left you wondering whether or not our Baltimore trip was the “experience of a lifetime” or a “hot mess,” and a lot of you emailed me “hot mess.” Thank you for the vote of confidence. So here’s how it really went down. I decided to find someone who could help us get around. I went into survival mode people. I emailed a lacrosse dad from the OC, and I asked him for his help. Yes, I felt like a complete idiot, but it was necessary if I wanted my son to get to any of these fields. He emailed me back and said that it would be fine.
The following day, I told my friend about what I had done, and suggested that I download the Uber app and have them get us around Baltimore. I figured that I had a back-up plan, if Plan A fell through and the OC dad changed his mind. And then out of the blue, I received a text from my friend who told me that she was going to Baltimore. Just the thought of having another mom with me was beyond exciting. It’s hard to explain the comfort level of knowing that a friend would be there with me, but trust me on this one, it was huge. And then a few days later, another friend emailed me and told me that she was going. And then, the countdown for the Baltimore trip began. I was flying by the seat of my pants and had no idea how it was going to turn out. I’m a major control freak. I never “ride” with my friends in their car if we’re all going out. I have to know the plan, and have my own car (my escape route but it’s just the way I roll).
Now we’re in Baltimore, it’s midnight, and I’m winging it. We waited for our Marriott shuttle for about 30 minutes, which sort of wigged me out, but once the van picked us up, I was feeling much better. We checked in and ordered room service around 1 a.m., and this is when I actually started to relax. In fact, I felt pretty great that we were in Baltimore, at the hotel and everything was working out. The next morning my friend arrived, and we had a terrific day walking around Annapolis, (right by the Naval Academy), eating crab cakes on the water, and shopping. In fact, I met another fantastic mom who is about as awful as me at directions, and the two of us completely winged it! That was great fun and a lot of laughs. The weather, which I thought was going to be freezing, was sunny and gorgeous. We had our team meeting at 10 p.m., and met all the families that the boys would be playing with. The intensity of being in Baltimore, with a group of people you don’t even know, was palpable. And I was starting to feel grateful for this opportunity I had with my son.
They boys got to play lacrosse at a few different prep schools, which were straight out of “Dead Poet’s Society.” There were stately brick buildings with tall white columns, sprawling fields of green grass, and founders’ statues all over the grounds. The environment was grand. The boys went to a college lacrosse game at the Johns Hopkins Homewood Field, and met the players after the game in the locker room. They also got to play on the Homewood Field later that night. As I looked around, all I kept thinking was how lucky our kids are and how incredible this experience truly was. I have no idea if it made an impression on my son and the boys, but it certainly did on me. He could have missed this “experience of a lifetime” because of my fear of losing control and inability to find my way around due to a poor sense of direction. Oh and the OC dad, he was the bomb and if it weren’t for him, I’d still probably be somewhere in Baltimore looking for a freeway! Do something that scares you. For me, it was going to a city that I’d never been to, relinquishing all control, going with the flow, and meeting a lot of great new people. You have no idea how resourceful you can be when you have to. Do I want to hop on a plane next weekend and do it all again? I might need a little time to recover but, yes, I would do it all again for the amazing memories I had with my son.
Have you done things that scare you? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org