1. Bobby and I got into one argument on our way down to Florida. He accidentally paid the hotel when I already did. It was a fiery, short and unnecessary fight. We both walked away licking our wounds, determined to learn something by it. On my end, I need to realize that everything is not a damn catastrophe. So we paid twice? We have the receipts, phone numbers and diplomacy on our side. We’ll be fine. But I hurt someone I love and it sure wasn’t worth all of the dramatics. Don’t you just wish life would pause itself and say “whoa tough girl, hold on a minute, this is how you are going to feel when it’s all said and done.” Then like a Scrooge type deal you would recognize the error of your ways and correct yourself before you did any damage.
2. I realized I’m a bit of a hotel snob. Our first night was spent at the Hampton (my little slang of endearment for The Hampton Inn.) It’s not a five star or anything but I want in on everything they got…Hamptons bucks, secret card, monthly newsletter. Sign me up. I’m their hugest fan… with their comfy beds and bountiful breakfast….Especially since the second night I spent with some Florida roaches and rusty water…making the afore mentioned argument even a tougher pill to choke down.
3. Kids are resilient little diamonds aren’t they? And why don’t we give them credit? We are always like “wow, they were really, really good.” Funny thing is I say that every.single.time. Maybe we’re afraid of the jinx when we predetermine that their totally going to rock which ever thing we are making them do as we pluck them out of their comfort zone. Either way- with terrible colds, stuck in those terrible seats, with those life altering DVDs players (I mean are they a game changer or what?) I can honestly say: my kids totally freaking nailed it!!!!
4. Expectations are everything. A week before I left for the sunshine state I cozied up on a barstool with a dear friend. I told her how Florida was not going to be the vacation but the whole process of getting there was going to be. We were going to embrace every leg of the trip and make it all part of it! The night I left, my friend sent me the perfect text. It simply read “remember, no expectations” I let that permeate and thank God I did. Because through orange shower water and a petty argument and a trip to the emergency room, and hours waiting for medicine and assuming all parental duties while my sick husband rested and a change in a change of plans, I never shrouded my commitment to no expectations. And you know what? I spent zero seconds with resentment or annoyance. Just one quick shift in mindset was all it took to save a potentially disastrous vacation.
5. Well I was in Florida my first blog post for Syracuse moms blog debuted and it didn’t bomb(thank God.) that got me thinking….if you have ever met me you would know this…I will do anything for you. I will bend over backward for you and I will do it despite how it may inconvenience me. It is a flaw. As is the way I worry what others think of me. I have been known to morph into a version of myself to appease my company. I have morphed many many times. I have turned into such characters as “party girl” “gossip gal” “goodie two shoes” “potty mouth” “one of the guys” and countless others. While I wouldn’t stamp a red “fake” on my forehead, I would say that I am perhaps a little lost sometimes….EXCEPT WHEN I WRITE. I am 100% genuine with every word I put in print…and while there is much more to my story, what I do put out there I brush off like fossils from my soul. You readers see it all. The full scope; from my kindness to my fumbles and yet you turn toward it. This reads like a neon billboard with flashing lights and fireworks..BE YOURSELF, BE YOURSELF BE YOURSELF! It’s terrifying though. The first time I wrote something and posted it, I shook like a leaf. Would I be validated, humiliated, or possibly worst of all, ignored? Turns out… Life isn’t middle school. It isn’t that you must be like the masses or be the gossip dujour. Turns out, everyone else is looking for validation too. So, being different, being vulnerable, being real, and being exposed is better than any being you can morph into.
6. I was busy patting myself on the back, the way I sometimes do. I credited my organization ,especially ,for keeping us moving in a fluid motion the entire vacation. I remember thinking to myself “wow I really did a lot this trip, I’m pretty awesome.” I then started mentally listing all of my accomplishments …and for a second, I really believed I could’ve done the whole thing solo. I put the brakes on quick as I went crashing into reality. Why did I want to discount Bobby’s role? Brain wheels were spinning away as I dug deeper into this whole phenomenon. For one, why are invisible marks constantly being tallied about who did the most? Bobby did do all of the driving. Also, his calm demeanor kept panic from setting in during the heavy parts and kept me in the moment during the light ones. He just has this calming presence like meditation personified…and I know this, and I love this and yet I forget to give him credit in all of it. Sometimes us women are so guilty of deeming the man an imbecile and how he would be lost without the brilliant mind of his woman….when did we all forget we are a team? I think of the way men are portrayed in every sitcom and I shake my head. The man always the reacher and dumb as stones, while the woman is the settler (to use my brother’s expression) and you are left wondering how the hell he snagged her. How did we get here? It’s rampant. Every woman I know has more than once rolled her eyes, myself included, about some chore we doled out that did not get completed properly. We act like our men are idiots, fixer-uppers….when we are the ones who picked them in the first place. Who are the real dumb ones here?
All I’m saying is we picked this person to help us raise our little people. We put faith in them when we met them, we believed their vows and we put all our trust into them when we left our dad’s arm to join theirs. So, maybe when we’re mentally handing out trophies to ourselves, we don’t forget to show gratitude to our teammates.
7. This is what our trip taught me. Step out of your routine for a few days. Steer clear of house projects, rushing breakfast and scheduled: naps, shows and bed times. Get away from your normal. If you do, you will find yourself looking at your life like you live on the other side of the green ,green ,grass.
As I returned to work this chilly Monday morning I waited. I waited for the dreads to come. I waited for the gnawing urge to flee back to sunny Florida and away from the mundane. It never came. I never uttered “yeah it was tough to come back” or “ugh, back to the grind.” (Ok, well maybe I said it a little) but honestly my mood was positive, cheery even. I washed the dishes the night before with pizzazz, went to bed content, woke up ready for the day. I knew I would miss my tribe. After all, we spent 10 days never leaving each other’s side. We loved on each other so big. We were drenched in all of the good parts. I was able to adoringly observe Calvin’s imagination instead of rushing him along. I held Judah and I held him some more… instead of plopping him so I could do my mommy jobs. I stared at my husband as he drove and I’m sure he had no idea how my heart bursted for the father he had become. We were just soaking each other up like the sun we were chasing.
It is fair to say my heart ached for my fam-jam at work when I went back and it ached bad. What a wonderful ache it was though….one where all I had to do was open the door to our home and all would be right in my world again. One where our bond halted being: short, irritated and maybe even bored with each other. One where gratitude replaced the ordinary…one that was my very favorite souvenir from Florida.