Holla at my girl Ariel. Loves to be under the sea and up on the sand all day.
Like I’ve said before, it’s what I looked forward to most about being a parent – admiring her wide-eyed face as she sees a gliding sting ray or feels sugar white sand for the first time. The shock and awe of life’s fine details that reminds me to appreciate the purpose of why they’re there. Why we’re here. How effortlessly beautiful a fish swimming can be. How foreign it is to breath underwater. How loud a wave crashing really is. How amazing it is that kabillions of grains of sand are outstretched endlessly on a beach, but she’ll try to count each one in her giantly compared to hand.How she’s concernly looking at me with “Mom, why the hell are these stuffed animals MOVING?!” as she ponders down at little dogs for the first time in Baton Rouge, 2 toy poodles begging to play with her.
Vacations are a different kind of fun as a new family. Gone are the days of bar-hopping through uncharted tourist nightlife, born are the days of beach baby photoshoots.Seeing the sunrise emerge over the horizon (and not from being up all night drinking), out enjoying the rays by 8am, making basic shapes in the sand, showing her all the new forms of life southern coastal waters will bring, the relaxation a silent condo brings after baby’s bedtime except for echoes of tumbling waves heard from the oceanfront balcony – it’s a whole new kind of getaway.
Miss Lyla is going to have plenty of opportunities for travel this year due to her mother’s obsessing motto of “F’n Livin’ It Up” in 2011. Pardon my French, but it emphasizes my enthusiasm for a non-cookie cutter year appropriately. Why not, right? It’s like when I go shopping at my favorite H&M – I must see the whole store. Even the trendy 80’s section that’s hideously filled with cropped neon graphic tees. I feel like I might be missing out on the most fabulous find ever if I don’t scour all 47 racks, 18 wall displays, and 22 mannequins. Well, I feel like the world is my non-scoured store lately. The bright orange hobo bag that would go perfect strolling down San Francisco’s hilly streets, the tortoise shell diva sunglasses complement a sunny Paris day staring up at ol’ Eifel, the cutesy olive crocheted beanie sitting atop the plastic faceless woman transforms her into me atop Colorado’s hippie ski towns sipping a pint from the lodge.See why I say “Screw it” and book too many trips like Bama in January, skiing for my 30th (this just deserves it’s own post in the near future), 2 islands of tropical Hawaii in February, a music festival on the beach in May, SEVEN trips planned to NY over the spring/summer for weddings & boating on the perfect Niagara River, hot Miami in October, Costa Rica next year??!! But the best part? This kid’s gonna see it all.
But I will say vacation is the mama work times 2. The chaos of strict monotonous TSA workers making you take the settled Lyla out of the Baby Bjorn through security, the nerves on a packed plane filled with fellow patrons who give baby-carrying you the death glare making your way down the aisle, the lack of familiar toys in a condo’s smaller living quarters, the 2 people it requires to give slippery her a bath without a baby tub…hence, us booking one kidless vacation as soon as we got back home. 10:00am beers are necessary in the airport club room when traveling with child. I know that’s not going to win me Mom of the Year, but it’s true and you know it.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s well worth it to experience life outside our home with her. The family memories WAY outweigh the cons I’m venting about now. But taking the time to rebuild the foundation of our family pyramid, only husband and wife as the primary level full of the strongest boulders, is a must. Some ratio along the lines of 1 adult-only holiday for every 5 family destinations. I’m not afraid to be truthful here as I do anything but candy-coat raw emotions on this blog. It’s amazing how the work of raising a baby can chisel away at our foundation. Not demolish, but chisel. The worst explosive diaper there ever was all over the rental chase? Chisel, chisel. Too windy for her to go on the beach? Tink, tink. No after-dinner Buffett margaritas because the monster truck blender will wake her up? Pling, pling. But our structure is strong, and we look forward to adding more blocks to it with each annual grownups trip or monthly date night Troy & I have. I’m pretty sure we’re going to have the nicest pyramid on the block. Hopefully a taller one too, wink wink. (Wait that was too misleading. No mother, I’m not pregnant.)
So aloha my friends, as we’re off to Kauai. You know the trip is finally here when you can count the remaining days left for takeoff on your fingers! Let the packing begin…