Monday, May 09, 2011

A visit to the past

G suggested going to Medieval Times for Mothers' Day this year. As it happened, I'd never been there before, which made it an opportunity to kill two birds with one stone by celebrating the holiday and adding an experience to my list of new things, so off we went.

I was secretly expecting it to be cheesy tourist crap--which is why I'd never gone, despite living in the area for 30 years--but I was wrong. IT WAS SO MUCH FUN. The idea is that you're at this tournament in medieval Spain, and the section you're seated in is represented by a particular knight, and you cheer him on in battle. It's easier to get into than you might think; even G, who is usually too full of almost-teen self-consciousness to participate in that sort of thing, was screaming and clapping and yelling "Boo!" and "Get him!" during the final epic battle between the Yellow Knight and the evil Green Knight. There are displays of dressage and falconry, and tournament games, and jousting, and hand-to-hand combat, and it's really pretty neat. (And it didn't hurt that three of the knights, including ours, were smoking hot. Wow.) Here are a few photos:

The arena before the show started. 



Dressage display.
Our knight was the Black and White Knight.
This is a flower that he kissed and then threw to us in the stands. I've never seen G come so close to swooning before.
Galloping blurrily off to the joust.
Jousting!
They have the obligatory overpriced merchandise to buy, and people wanting to take your photo and sell it to you for $10, but we ignored all that and just enjoyed the pageantry. G is already longing to go back, so I suspect we may be spending her next birthday there. Definitely a good time.

One thing that bothered me a bit about the day--and in fact has been a general annoyance lately--is that almost no one realizes I'm G's mother anymore. She looks older than she is, mostly because she's so tall, and I look younger than I am, and so strangers assume that I'm her friend or elder sister, or sometimes her aunt. When we arrived at the castle, the person checking reservations at the gate wished the women ahead of and behind me a happy Mothers' Day, but not me. Inside, they were handing out flowers to the mothers; I wasn't offered one. Obviously with my 40th birthday only a few months away, it's nice not to look old enough to be the mother of an apparent teenager, but I am a mother and proud of it, and I'd like to be recognized as one.

It does sting a little, too, to think that if P were still alive, people would probably have no trouble pegging us as the parents and G as our child; it's G and me being on our own together that throws them off. But there's not much I can do about it, short of investing in some MOTHER and DAUGHTER T-shirts or sticky labels--and embarrassing as G thinks I am at times, I'm not that over the top. Yet.