Okay, so here I am, on vacation. Well, literally, I'm sitting in a clubhouse with a glass of wine and an Internet connection, which is a little harder to come by on an island than you'd think. Or maybe it's exactly as hard as you'd think. And my sister's laptop, that she really, really nicely lent me after I accidentally spent the money I was saving for an iPad. Which turns out to be a good thing because I wasn't going to get the 3G one, and if I got the lesser of the two I'd still be sitting here in the clubhouse because that thing wouldn't have gotten a connection, either. Anyway, I digress.
Because this blog serves dual purposes (almost a diary for me and hopefully occasionally some entertainment for you), I thought I'd give you my top-five-list-so-far. You know how it is on vacation; a million little things happen, and it's almost sensory overload to process all of them. So this is me processing the first few days at the beach.
1. Jack went fishing with Whit and caught a gigantic flounder. Literally; I think we can eat it for dinner. That little boy was so proud of himself that he's been beaming for four hours. (And trash talking his dad, who's never caught a flounder. Or much of anything. So it's an ongoing source of amusement for me to listen to them.)
(Caroline asked if the fish was dead or alive. It's sitting in a cooler in our house, so it's not alive, but Jack insisted it was. When the truth finally sank in, he looked at me with visible disappointment and said, "Ew, Mom, what am I going to do with a dead fish??" Obviously he doesn't get the whole circle of life thing.)
2. Caroline paddling out to her Uncle Steve on a boogie board, and then Steve lifting Caroline and the board over the crashing waves until they got to a good spot, and then watching as he gave her a good push at exactly the right moment and I could stand on the beach and watch her little face careening in with the surf. If I could bottle that joy and give it back to her when life really starts to suck, I would. It's pure happiness.
3. Whit mooning me. Really. It's his thing. He does it all the time, whether he beats me at a board game or wants to make me laugh when I'm on the phone...it's just some fraternity-boy part of him that was never completely exorcised. It's weird, but it's funny and he's not editing my blog posts so I can say it.
4. Sitting on the porch, looking at the ocean and the sunset and talking to my in-laws, who really defy the stereotype of meddling, boring, antiquated in-laws. They're funny and smart and they've known me for 17 years and they know my whole family and my whole life so it's just like visiting friends when we sit around and chat.
5. Stealing away before dinner last night and going for a walk on the beach with Whit. Yes, I love walking on the beach with him at any time, but last night was really great because I found two whole, perfect sand dollars. We've come here for 13 summers and only once before has anyone found a perfect sand dollar, and Caroline (who was four) broke it instantly. I found two, one for each kid, and I was hopping up and down and hooting like a monkey because I was so excited. (Yes, monkeys hoot. Go to the zoo and listen to them sometime.)
Okay, there's one more thing: the slow pace of life here. And I mean literally slow; the only motorized vehicles are golf carts, and you could be having a heart attack -- or a baby, or a stroke -- and you'd hit a hill and just automatically drop into some low gear and chug, chug, chug up the hill. There's no aggressive driving because no one can go faster than the mandated speed governors on the carts. There aren't even any speed limit signs (or any lifeguards, for that matter; it's pretty hard to find any rules to break around here). It's a vacation that forces you to slow down, take a look at the flowers and the ocean, wave at the golf cart people going in the other direction and just stop stressing. Because, really, you just can't go any faster, no matter how hurried you are. And I'm generally pretty hurried.
So that's it. Some crummy things have happened, too (I can't stand people who portray their lives as perfect at all times), some rejections of some things I've written, some funky family dynamics and some traffic that was so bad it made my hair itch, but those things pale in comparison to the five (six?) I've listed above.
Yup, my life will go back to its stressful self soon enough. But for now, I'll drink my wine, enjoy my family and count my blessings.