First off, have any of you ever noticed that I always capitalize each word of my post titles? (I am betting that a certain vice-principal, writer-extraordinaire, reader has! haha) I love punctuation, if you haven't already noticed. I found James Frey's 'A Million Little Pieces' utterly fascinating because of the way it was punctuated. Check it out and you'll see what I mean. It's my geeky way of being literarily-rebellious. (And look-I just made up a new word!) I also like to end sentences with prepositions. Take that, eight grade English teacher, Mrs. Woodard. I'd like to see one of your appliqued sweaters and your pointer stick try to be so daring...ha!
Okay, back to the point of this post. Yes, I seem to be lagging quite a bit between blog entries. I think of something to write at least once each day, but I can't quite wrap my brain around taking the time to sit down and let it spill out. (A-ha! Another sentence ending in a preposition!!)
I think part of the problem is that most of what I am thinking about seems too personal to open up about. (Yes, 'about' is a preposition) It's not that I don't feel comfortable writing about these things, it's just that I am pretty sure I'd feel obligated to qualify each feeling with an 'I realize I am very lucky,' or 'I wouldn't change my life if I could,' yada, yada, yada. You know...all of those things the guilt of society makes us feel we have to say. It's not that I am not thankful for being so blessed in many ways, or that I'd change things if I could, it's just that, dang it, sometimes I want to expand upon the feeling of, 'This SUCKS,' or 'Why me?' Yes, I realize I do that to an extent, but sometimes you just feel like having an all-out, sprawled on the ground, kicking and screaming, two-year-old, temper tantrum, ya know?
So what do you do when you're feeling the stress? You high-tail it out of town, that's what. On Wednesday night the other half (who has been lacking in spontaneity the past five or so years) said, 'Why don't we go somewhere for the long weekend?' Sounds great to me, as I'm always up for a road trip, but, uh, it's Memorial Day weekend; one of the busiest weekends of the year. Well, since we like to do it up stress-style 'round here, we searched for a rental house until finally finding one in Mendocino at 5pm on Thursday night. We were packed and in the car by 5:18 and on our way up the coast. We stayed in an amazing house the first two nights. It even had a full-size arcade game programmed with all of the oldies like Burgertime, Space Invaders, Joust, and Jungle Hunt. We lounged around, went to the farmer's market and saw more dreadlocks on pre-pubescent kids than I've ever seen in my lifetime. I finished my second book in over a year (so sad that I've lost my ability to take time to read). I read TWO People magazines. We hot tubbed. We saw wild turkeys. We ate a feck-load of bacon. We danced to Pandora. We left food on the counters without worrying that a dog or cat was going to eat it. But perhaps most important, the other half and I co-parented better than we have in a very long time. He stepped up to the plate with the boys way more than he has in quite awhile, and I really, really, REALLY needed that from him. I've come to realize that part of my problem (only part, not all...there is no blame game going on here) is that I take my frustrations out on the kids and become overly-stressed with them because I am frustrated with him. I have felt like I am the one constantly dealing with the struggle that is getting M dressed (and subsequently, often being hit), or taking him to appointments; or the only one responding to B's relentless whining and requests. I suspect the other half has finally noticed my resolve crumbling. Heck, who are we kidding? It's not just crumbling, it's coming down in a torrential landslide at this point.
We were so sad to have to check out of our little paradise less than two days after we'd gotten there that we decided to find another rental for another two days. The second house was not nearly as plush as the first, but it was very family-centric in its layout and ended up working out very well for us. Television was not a focus on this house, so we took walks, collected wildflowers, and played in the yard. The second house struck a chord with us because the owners had noted in their guest book that their son had been born with a serious heart defect that had resulted in several surgeries and ultimately, a heart transplant. The family wrote that they did not know how long their son would be on this earth, so they built the home knowing that they needed a place to make cherished memories and to get away from the stress, worries and fears of home. My gosh, could we not relate! The other half and I both noted that you could really feel the presence of the little boy in that house. I do not know if he is still physically present on this earth, but I sense that he will always fill the rooms of that house no matter what.
We took the scenic, coastal route home; anything to extend the familial high we seemed to be on.
When we got close to home you could sense that we all felt the anxiety rising once again. The worst part was that M started crying when we turned onto our street.
We dreamed of a vacation getaway similar to those we rented. We spoke of ways to continue that feeling of being on vacation in order to help us through the tough times. We decided that we need to visit places like Mendocino more often. Places that give us that peace our bodies need in order to stay healthy; places that bring us together as a family and remind us that we do love each other and that we are, after all, quite blessed.