Mike, Mazzy and I flew out to Park City Utah on Saturday for a family ski trip. Why did we leave Harlow? For a few reasons.

1) Harlow still has school this week while Mazzy is on Spring Break.

2) It’s nice to get some one-on-one time with Mazzy, who can actually ski with us now.

3) Harlow would have hated it here. She still has a hard time separating from us when we drop her off at school and I know that ski school with all the new people, the unfamiliar schedule, the cumbersome equipment and the cold weather, would have made her absolutely miserable. She would have and cried and begged not to go and then we’d either have to drop her off anyway and feel awful about it or split up so one of us could stay back with Harlow and never get to ski together.

Maybe next year Harlow will be ready for our family ski trip but for now, she is at home with Grammy.

Was she upset she wasn’t coming? Not in the least. This is how it went down.

ME: Mazzy, are you excited for the ski trip next week?

MAZZY: Yes!!!!

HARLOW: Am I going?

ME: No.


ME: You get to stay with GRAMMMMMMMMY!!!!!!!!!!


For a second, I think even Mazzy thought she got the raw end of the deal.

Harlow was so excited to stay with Grammy that she barely said goodbye to us when we left for the airport. I practically had to force her to give me a hug as she and my mom were very involved in a game of playdoh hair salon on the dinning room table.

ME: Can I have a hug goodbye, Harlow?

HARLOW: Not right now.

ME: But Harlow, I’m leaving. You are not going to see me for a few days.

She didn’t even look up as she matted the playdoh on a Lego character’s head. Keep in mind that Harlow is the QUEEN of prolonged goodbyes (she has created an intricate dance of hugs, kisses, noses, love pats, crowns, rainbows and more every time we leave the room) so this departure snub was especially disheartening.

ME: Just one kiss?

HARLOW: Okay, fine. One kiss.

We kiss.

ME: Maybe a hug too?


I pushed my luck.

In any case, I was happy she was thrilled to be with Grandma. We left for the airport, Mazzy was excited and had an uneventful flight to Park City, which is exactly how you would like flights with kids to go.

We had a great time skiing on Sunday (more on that tomorrow) and then just as we returned to our condo, I received a text from my mom.

Harlow just threw up all over the couch. I think she has a stomach bug.

Uh-oh. I facetime them. My mom answers and shifts the phone so I can see Harlow. She is soaking wet, freshly washed after the puking episode, and lying on the couch in a towel with her hair matted to one side. Her lip trembles and she looks so defeated and sad.

“Harlow, are you okay?”

Harlow’s face crumpled and she burst into tears. Really sad horrible tears. Those tears said, “I miss you and I feel terrible and the two of these things combined are more than my little body can handle.” Oh, man.

“I love you and miss you Harlow.”

“I want you HERE.”

There was nothing I could do. I tried talking to her but she just kept crying.

“What can I do to make you feel better?”

She said nothing.

“Do you want me to sing to you?”

She nodded.

I sang Somewhere Over the Rainbow and when she asked me to sing more, I sang Summertime and then Someone to Watch Over Me. Her little face with her big sad eyes staring at me intently the whole time.

“Do you want me to sing more?”

She shook her head. She looked sleepy.

“Okay, sweetie. Go to sleep and you’ll feel better in the morning.”

She nodded and my mom took the phone.

The next morning I got another text from my mom.

Harlow is still throwing up and I don’t feel so good either.

Oh, god. What was I supposed to do? The plan was for Harlow to be in school during the week so my mom would only have to watch her at night and in the morning. Now, she was sick, my mom was also sick and she had to watch her for the entire day. We’ve all been there and it sucks and it certainly wasn’t something I wanted for my mom when she was being so nice to help us out. Even worse, I couldn’t exactly get my mom help because clearly anyone who came into contact with them would catch it too.

And there I was in Utah. Nothing I could do.

In mid afternoon, my mom texted again. Harlow had a 103.6 fever.

I called the doctor for advice. Mike had our sitter (a college student who lives a block away) pick up medicine to drop off at our apartment. My mom put Harlow in a cool bath and the fever came down to 101.3.

I called Harlow on facetime again. She was lying wet in a towel on the couch. “Ma-ma!” she yelled and smiled. She looked more like herself again.

Mazzy edged up next to me to talk to Harlow too.

“Hi, Harlow, are you okay?”


Then I watched the two of them crack each other up, making raspberries into the phone and repeating random weird noises back and forth. Mike and I joined in too. We all laughed and the space between us didn’t seem quite as large as it had before.

That night, while we were out to dinner, I got a text from Grammy.

Harlow doesn’t feel hot. And I’m improving too.


Mazzy asked what I was doing. I told her that Grammy had just texted to tell me that everybody was feeling a little better. Mazzy looked relieved. She had been worried too.

“Do you want to send a text Grammy?”

Mazzy nodded excitedly. She has never sent a text before. I showed her the keyboard and then she spent the next ten minutes carefully composing her very first text.



She couldn’t have said it any better.

We’ll be home soon, Harlow!