I spent the week, all week, struggling with my priorities. On the one hand, if I don’t work on Sock Summit virtually all moments of the day and night I’m not sure I’ll be ready. (I’m not sure I’ll ever be ready actually, I suppose what I mean is “finished” rather than “ready”) On the other hand, Meg was on the Friends for Life Bike Rally – riding 600km for the People with AIDS Foundation… and the thought of a seventeen year old doing something like that and not having their mum and the finish line was more than I could bear. We’d been considering surprising her, and late Thursday I snapped, decided that being a mum had to win this internal war, tossed pretty much my whole office into the car and told Joe to drive.
He drove. We hauled arse as far as Brockville, stayed in a cheap motel (with wi-fi, so I could work) I worked into the night, slept a little, then worked until checkout – then got back in the car again the next morning and drove into Montreal while I kept on working from what became my road office.
(I’d like to take a minute to point out that Joe is actually one of the best husbands in the world. He really is. He’s game, he’s good natured, and he knows better than to buck a woman this close to the edge. I say “I need to be in Montreal tomorrow” and he says “Awesome. I’ll get my keys.” I say I have to plaster the car in post-it’s and keep working the whole way there, and he wipes the dash so they’ll stick real good and gets himself some cd’s to listen to while he drives. He’s taken a lot of Sock Summit heat, and I just love him to death for all that he does for me. It’s like he’s Captain of the good ship Hellofaguy.)
So we pull into Montreal (on the way there Meg texts us that they’re almost there – I don’t tell her I’m on my way) and and we can’t find the place and I’m flipping out. I mean, we take all this time that I don’t really have and I make Joe drive seven hours to get to see Meg, Ken and Pato pull in, and I can’t find it? I’m on the phone with Rachel H, she’s google mapping and website checking and I’m yelling “I’m on Rue Sainte-Catherine!” when a woman walks up and says “It’s here. This is the place. If you’re waiting for someone on the ride, they’re coming in here, but not for a while, so there’s time to get a coffee” and she’s so familiar to me, you know? I totally know this woman, I’m sure of it, and then I’m about to say “Have we met? I’m sure I know you” when Joe leans over and says “Holy cow that’s Ann Medina” and my gosh it is, and I don’t know her – she’s famous, almost everybody knows her (or her voice) and we chat with Anne for a while and it turns out she’s waiting for her best friend’s son Phil, and we tell her about Meg, Pato and Ken, and then there’s Pato’s older brother, and soon it’s a little party, and more people come, and more people. Then the crew that’s been supporting the riders for six days shows up and that’s really exciting, because if the crew’s there, then the riders can’t be far away.
We all wait, we all look up the road and wait. We know they’ll have a police escort, we know that they do the last 10k as one big mass of blue. A big force of riders coming up the road, and that’s not the sort of thing you can miss, but they’re still not there. We wait, and wait more and finally someone yells “I see them!” and I ran out to see if I could see them coming, and I could.
Way down the road, there they all are – and I’m so excited I can’t stand it. Will she be happy to see us? Is it going to be one of those things where parent’s make a supreme effort to turn up and the kid’s all “Hey, what are you doing at my party – and um… how long are you staying?”
Finally, when I think I can’t stand it anymore, and everyone around me is cheering, the riders arrive…
riders and riders,
and riders and riders… and I can’t find Meg and Pato, or Ken… and Pato’s brother yells “GOT THEM!” and he points and there they come, my little Megaboo… riding in, part of this great huge thing…
and I should MEGGIE!…. and she looks at me, and her face lights up, and she yells “MUMMY”, and I started to laugh, because she must have been glad to see me, because she’s just about 18 years old, and she gave up calling me “mummy” in public a lot time ago. They all ride by and she’s gone, into the crush, and Joe yells “I’m going to find her! ” and he’s gone too.
We found them, the three of them after a period of confusion, and I was so happy to see her. So happy I choose her over the Summit (sorry Tina) and they danced and celebrated.
Meg introduced me to all her new friends…
I met Ann Medina’s Phil
and I took a good look at the three riders I love especially. The People With Aids Foundation does some pretty awesome work, they really do, and this ride does a lot more good, but I’ll be forever grateful for what it’s given me, which is a chance to see my little Megaboo not just as my child, but as a woman with a heart of gold, the willpower of a woman twice her age, and the strength of an ox.
I’m so proud of all of them. Three cheers for my three riders. I love them all.