teenage-friendsHello, again . . . been MIA for a while in accordance with some of my top New Year’s resolutions: Get off my butt, move my body around more, and instead of blogging so much about life, actually get out there and enjoy a little of it. But I’m back on my butt, where it feels oh-so-comfortable, to talk about a few single-mom-ish travel things.

Over the holidays, my 16-year-old daughter’s friend from Wisconsin came out to visit us. They’re good buddies. They met on the Disney Cruise last year, talk regularly on the phone, text nearly daily and have seen each other three times since the cruise. Did I mention this friend is a “he?” Chris is his name. VERY nice boy, respectful, comes from hard-working, family-centered honest parents. You know, the kind of people you’d meet on a Disney Cruise.

Now, some of you might think it’s inappropriate to allow a teenaged boy to fly all the way out to the Left Coast – alone! — to visit my teenaged daughter for a week, especially given the fact that we live in an all-female home, with no man around to intimidate a 16-year-old boy who might have “other’ things on his mind. (In case you’re wondering about the sleeping arrangements: Chris slept in my daughter’s room, and she slept with me. I am a VERY light sleeper.)

With or without a dad in the house, Chris being here felt so right to me. There is NOTHING but friendship between them, trust me. They didn’t even kiss on New Year’s Eve. She’s been telling me all along, “Mom, Chris is my best friend.” And after observing them for a week, I see what she means. Those two really have a very special, NON-SEXUAL bond between them. They talk. They laugh. They kid each other. They lie around on her bed like two BFFs, shoes kicked off, sharing a bag of chips and pictures from their cell phones.

I can’t help but wonder that had I spent time building a similar friendship with my ex-husband, we might still be married. Nope, we were too eager to jump all over each other, and look how that ended.

Anyway, Chris’ visit wasn’t without its mishaps. Again. When he came out to visit us last year in Orange County, he fell ill and spent the entire weekend on my couch. His mom called it The Wisconsin Plague ( http://tinyurl.com/y886x9m). This trip, the dark cloud hovered once again. First off, he almost missed his connecting flight. Had he sprinted to the gate 10 minutes later, out of breath and in dire need of the asthma inhaler he forgot to pack, he would have had to spend the entire night in the Houston airport. While we did enjoy a lovely daytrip to San Francisco one day, the flu came knocking once again, only this time it hit all of us, starting with my youngest daughter. (I really don’t think you’ve earned your parenting stripes until you’ve cleaned up your child’s vomit.)

Between flu days, my daughters and Chris were well enough to go jump on some trampolines at a local hotspot. That’s where Chris fell hard, hitting his head and causing a massive nosebleed. We spent the evening on Concussion Watch. The next day, I was cleaning up my daughter’s room and tripped over Chris’ suitcase, landing hard on my tailbone, where I am now sporting a rather beautiful purple bruise.

It’s probably a good thing that my teeanged daughter caught the flu the day we were supposed to go skiing in Lake Tahoe. I shudder to think what might have happened to Chris on the slippery slopes with that bad-luck cloud following him.