He shook his head and made a comment about how much work it takes two parents to pull off a vacation. We must of looked pretty sorry and road weary. I kinda of wanted to go into an epic speech about how worth it, it all was but I know he already knows- so I didnt.
Early on our first morning at the condo I woke up, wandered to the balcony over looking the ocean and saw my little Branse, small next to the gray waves, alone on the sand flying his birthday kite.
It was going to be a good week.
You would have thought different if you had passed us on the highway the day we drove out. We shredded a tire at 70mph, somewhere between here and Yuma.
There is nothing but heat, and dry desert grass on that stretch of road and the heat rising from the black ashfault was as searing as the heat beating down from the sky. We skidded to a stop at an angle so the little jack we had wasngt tall enough to lift the car. I was so thankful that we we hadnt crashed that I couldnt be grouchy. In fact none of the kids were. We sat and ate ice chips from the ice chest and watched a movie while we waited 2 hours for a road side assistance truck. Come what may and love it, right?
Almost everyday I can feel the pull the world has on my kids. I get a lumpy throat and teary eyes when I think of how little time they have to be little...how little time I have them to myself.
But nothing can be done, they grow and they grow and the world tells them to grow faster. All week long, cousins and aunts and grandparents commented to me about my grown up boy. His deeper voice, his bigger muscles, his more mature nature. "I know, I know", I would say, I cant believe it either, even though it is happening before my very eyes.
But, spending a week near the ocean where they have no greater care in the world than to lay in the toasty sand or swim in the icy waves- seems to force time to stop dead in its tracks. And then I want to cackle like a sorsoror and say, "take that growing up..take that!" It seems to keep the world and it's worries, temptaions, grief and trials at bay. I can sit in a chair in the shade and rub my feet against the grainy sand and see all of them happy and content, filled up with carefree childhood. Summmer at it's very best.
Here there are no schedules. No homeowrk, no peer presusre- except the call from cousins for a game of smash ball or one more swim before the sun goes into the sea. Sunblock is the only rule.
And what about reality? It's there, it is...that is exactly what my Dad was laughing about. The packing and lugging and loading and lifting and arranging and paying and driving and soothing and finding. We do all that too but what ever effort it takes, whatever work I have to do is sweet...a gift really. In fact on Thursday at Knotts Berry Farm, I ran from one corner of that place to the other all day long with Cali slung under my arm and Ella's nearly 5 year old self in the stroller. I was a sweaty, exhausted, sticky mess by days end but the kids had a time! And I was glad that I was there to faslilitate that. Even if I was the line holding, baby tending, picture taker, stuff lugging mule.
For our last two days we left the cousins and set of on our own. I love isolating my family and taking off for adventure. We had no plans and no reservations but we found plenty of bliss and cool ocean breezes and full ice-cream cones, to join us.
I felt a little sad when we drove back into town and passed our usual exit. But when we passed by the steeple of the new temple, a burst of joy hit me as Scott and I shard a comfotable smile, (over the long car ride enduced, crying and fighting). A secret smile, created by the fact that we signed papers on a new house last week end. We will be going "home" in a matter of months.
Thankful is an understatement.
Life with all of it's flat tires and hard stuff always has plenty of good too and today...I feel drenched in it.