“I want to go back to my homeland,” Daughter #2 whined to me when we discussed our move some more over dinner.
“Cape Cod isn’t your homeland, ding-dong,” her younger sister, Daughter #3, corrected her, “it’s your native land.”
Rolling her eyes, in her very-practiced, tween-age way, Daughter #2 “whatever-ed” her sibling, and nonchalantly aimed an edamame pod right at her. And squeezed. Hard. The projectile bean hit her sister squarely in the eye. Drama of course ensued, with the younger child lunging at the older one and Daughter #1 (the brand new teenager), who up until now had been too busy picking out the onion bits from her stir-fry, screamed something to the effect of, “You’re all going to lose your electronics for the weekend, right Mom?”
My littlest picked this moment to let me know she no longer liked rice and threw her bowl of food straight up in the air. It landed on Daughter #4, who freaked out and spilled HER bowl of colorful food on the floor, and began bawling like a baby because now she wouldn’t get “dessewt”.
I assured the 6 year old she would still get “dessewt”, tended to the poor poked eyeball, cleaned up the rice and vegetables (even located the rogue edamame), and reminded Daughters 2 and 3 that the term they were looking for was “home state”. And yes, the two girls did lose their electronics, but just for the evening, which really didn’t matter much because we ended playing Quelf, anyhow.
When I told my mother the story about going back to the homeland, she suggested I actually take the girls back to our homeland of Poland, to the village of Bircza. “At least for a vacation, we would have so much FUN!”
I spent many summers in the tiny southeastern village my mother’s family lives in. Those were idyllic times spent running free among the rolling hills sprinkled everywhere with fragrant clumps of wildflowers. In my later teen years and early twenties, midnight escapades to neighboring farmer’s fields for bonfires with my cousins and friends became routine – nights filled with freshly dug-up potatoes nestled in the dancing flames of the “ognisko”. Then the boys would dig them out of the coals with long branches and slather the delights with delicious, pale yellow, home-churned butter and pinches of coarse salt placed strategically on top and pass them out to the girls. The cherry brandy (wisniowka) and vodka flowed freely and we sang and laughed until dawn, that’s when my cousins and I crept back home and sunk deep into our feather beds. My mom would come looking for me at my cousins’ (which was the house next door to her), usually about noon, annoyed that I was “sleeping away” my entire vacation.
“Oh, leave her alone,” my Ciocia Teresa would always cover for me and shoo her sister back to my uncle’s house, “she’s growing. Kids that age need their rest.”
A vacation back to Poland is most certainly in our future, however, the girls NEED to be a bit older. OK, a LOT older. And I need to forget what FUN I used to have when I traveled there. Right now I need to focus on our move, whether it be to Myrtle Beach or back to Cape Cod.
“I’m taking my daughters for a walk to the Boardwalk, it’s SO beautiful out,” Randi taunted me as she again wrestled her dog for her pink slipper, “Cliff obviously has some energy he needs to walk off and the girls want to go see the water.” She finally managed to get the abused, fluffy thing away from her dog and threw it like a mad-woman into her closet before he could again accost it. She leaned against the door and tried to catch her breath, “Pets are awesome!” she gasped.
“Watch us on the boardwalk webcam – then decide where you want to move to!” I watched her grab a hoodie, and she quickly explained that it was to keep the leather seats in her Mustang from being ruined by Cliff. Uh huh. “OK, it’s 52 here – maybe a LITTLE chilly,” she finally admitted before snapping on Cliff’s black leash and getting everyone out the door.
Thankfully, today is offering us blue skies and lots of sunshine (albeit no warmth…feels like 29 degrees…ugh), and my cabin fever has abated a bit. Maybe I’ll bundle up the girls and take them for a walk around SPAC later this afternoon, perhaps have them do a scavenger hunt.
I watched Randi and her daughters and their dog on the Boardwalk and then on the beach on the webcam. I called and asked them pick up some shells and rocks to send to me in the meantime, and I watched as they did – the three girls walking together on the sand, their silhouettes highlighted by the golden sun, spotted white dog chasing foam at the water’s edge.
And I so cannot wait to be there with them.