I started doing it again.
I started doing it on vacation. I really didn’t think I would start doing it so soon, but apparently, I am weak… and it felt so good. That surge of satisfaction knowing I was going to make someone very, very happy ribboned itself around my body and hugged me with the sensation one gets when one has a juicy secret.
I suppose while I relaxed, it was easier to decide what it was I really wanted to focus on – what would be the right choice for everyone. So, if you’re on my nice list, I found some really amazing things as we wandered around and you’re certainly in for fantastic treats this Christmas.
Of course, if you’re on my naughty list – you’re in for some incredible ones.
Vacation to us means more than just a trip (and the official start to Santa’s shopping season) – it’s a much-needed break from all things electronic. No arguing over what to watch on TV. No fighting over what to play on Wii. No Wizards 101. No Facebook updating. Cell for emergencies only. For me just hours and hours dedicated solely on working on creating jewelry, and a relaxing atmosphere for the girls to wrap up their schoolwork.
I envisioned the whole thing – the girls would all blissfully read some carefully selected books and play nicely together – quietly – at least en route to our vacation place. There would be peace, punctuated by giggles and the occasional crunch of healthy snacks.
The poking, staring, humming, pig-latin started almost the second our vehicle pulled away from the house.
“We’ll be back in time for the Steven Tyler concert, right?” my oldest daughter asked, for the millionth time. She’s been looking forward to going ever since she found out he was coming to Albany. It was all she could talk about.
“Never mind Steven Tyler!” Daughter #2 poked her older sister which started a whining competition, “I’m worried about the gerbils.” One of the gerbils had decided at almost midnight the night before that it would be the best time possible to escape from its cage. It had taken us all about two hours to finally lure him back into his strawberry abode. “It’s your fault Olie got out,” she hissed.
“I don’t understand why you even care,” the thirteen year old glared back, “he’s my gerbil, anyway!”
“You care more about the concert than you do about our pets!”
And so the bickering began and progressed to clothes (big surprise), “I don’t see how you can even say having more shorts is the same as having lots of sundresses.”
“You just want Mom to take you shopping.”
And it continued on to the topic of Halloween last year, “NO!!! Mom!!! Tell her that two ‘snack-sized’ candy bars are not the same size as one ‘share-size’!! Mom!! Tell her!!”
Even my youngest, the three-year old, got sucked into the melee, “I wanna go see him! I wanna go see him!! Mommy!! I wanna go! Can I go?”
“Who?” her eight-year old sister teased, “Barney?”
The little one thought for a moment as she tapped her chin in an exaggerated way (she knew there was no way her sisters would be talking about going to see Barney, but the seed was already planted in her head).
“I wanna go see Barney!” blonde curls bopped in excitement, “I want to go see Barney!!” Ripping off her sandals, she began slapping them together, “Barney!! Barney!! Barney!!”
My six year old started bawling then, too, and a game of “Guess Why I’m Crying” was started.
Five minutes later I was pulling into the nearest Walgreen’s and hoping their Redbox was well stocked.
Ten minutes after that, the girls were happily snacking and fixated on the DVD player hanging down behind my head.
I looked at my girls in the rearview mirror, my six-year old’s wails had turned into laughter as she watched the movie. “Sweetheart,” I whispered back to her, “why were you crying before?”
Tearing herself away from the movie, she smiled, “I just wanted to say that I love you, but you couldn’t hear me.” She took a bite of her peach and gave her full attention back to the movie.
“Hey Mom?” came my oldest’s voice from the back, “We are going to make it back for the concert, right?”
So, as I was saying, it was a delightful trip.
These last few weeks have been a relaxing kick-off to our summer. We finished off another school year, and our get-away was perfect for the girls to be able to relax and concentrate on their exams without distractions.
And yes, we’re home in time for the Steven Tyler concert.
It is nice to be back though. It feels wonderful to sit down and write again – mind refreshed and definately in a summer state of mind.
Daughters #1 and #2 are preparing a cool salad lunch and the gerbils are dashing happily on my floor in their clear plastic balls, thrilled to be home, as well, after their vacation at Grandma’s and her two “playful” cats. Daughters #3, #4 and #5 are playing Olympic Swimming in the pool.
There’s giggling coming from the kitchen, “Mom?” I hear “ssshhh” and more giggling, “What’s extra-virgin olive oil?”
Did I mention, it’s good to be home?
Now, to find a spot to hide those Christmas presents…