Last Tuesday spun by like a wooden top. Jon worked on the house all day with Jason while also trying to take calls for work. I sat on a dozen conference calls and cranked out emails in an attempt to avoid having my colleague overwhelmed while I was out. When I got home, we madly packed our clothes realizing that shorts didn’t have buttons (and of course neither of us can sew) and dresses were torn. Too bad we didn’t look earlier. Oh well, we realized we’d be in our bathing suits most of the time. I packed the kids’ clothes and boots for Grandma Meg’s and Peepaw’s house, and tried to gather some games and toys that both the kids and the grandparents would enjoy. We put the kids to bed at 9 pm, and as I left Maria’s room, I heard her sniffling. When I went back to give her a hug, a full-out bawling session occurred. She begged us not to leave for Cancun. It was awful. We did not expect that type of reaction from her. I rubbed her back and laid with her until her eyes shut. I walked out of her room softly hoping not to wake Mario. When I peered in Mario’s room to ensure he was asleep, I was taken aback when I saw him sitting straight up in his bed wide-eyed staring out at me.
“What’s the matter, pumpkin?”
“I don’t want you to leave me.”
Jon walked in the room and both of us let out a collective sigh. This unexpected emotion from the kids took us both by surprise and we stood there holding Mario between us and rubbing his back. They actually do love us…. We let Mario lay with us and we are sure that we were both out before he fell asleep. When we woke at 4:30 am, Maria got up, too. She cried again for us to stay and it was only when Maggie laid with Maria in our bed that she calmed down. What a way to leave!
We arrived in Cancun at noon to a beaming sun and breaking waves. Heaven. This is our third trip to Cancun – Jon’s company sponsors the trip. We stay in the same hotel each year, and play in the same part of the ocean. We eat at a lot of the same restaurants, and hang out with the same group of friends. As much as that may seem monotonous, it is actually very soothing. We have no concerns about how the hotel will be, whether the beach will be nice, how the food will taste. We know it is always close to perfect. The first couple of years I felt a little overwhelmed with Jon’s friends and their wives. A lot of them know each other well from going to Cancun every year or because they live in the same city. I am a lone goose. But this year, I let go of any concern about not fitting in and just enjoyed myself. And it was the best trip we had in the three years. Jon and I ate incredible food, played like kids in the ocean, snorkeled, drove a speed boat (Jon felt like Crockett in Miami Vice!), sat together on the balcony listening to the waves, and talked uninterrupted! I loved diving in the ocean for sea shells; Jon would stand on the beach with the water hitting his legs waiting for me to bring shells to him. It was a precious gesture on his part. We laughed hard at Jon’s friends’ antics. They are all hilarious in their own right. Phil is from the UK and has a quirky little accent. He is so cool that he could afford to wear white beach shoes and still look good. Dave is from Michigan and he is your down-to-earth, good-natured guy who always has a funny story to tell about his kids or his wife or their adventures. Joe is a slick, suave Michigan guy who is always considerate and making sure that people are having a good time. Their wives definitely make them the men that they are – they are the backbones of their families. Strong, funny, and intelligent, they always welcome me into their group and make me feel at home. Those are the three guys and their wives that we hang out with the most in Cancun but there are others who provide us with much entertainment, also. It’s a good group and the camaraderie and brotherhood amongst the male colleagues is enviable – I wish I had as much fun with my work colleagues as these guys have together.
I got a killer head and foot massage on our last day at the beach. It was the “Organic Massage” and consisted of a scalp massage, hot towels, face massage, foot massage and hand massage. It ended with a back massage and hot towels on your back and legs. I thought I had died and entered heaven. She poured citrus oils on my hair and spread them on my skin during the massage. I smelled like a lemon when I left. Jon went jet skiing while I got my massage. He didn’t realize that there were 10 foot waves to conquer out in the ocean. He was a hurting puppy when he came back to shore.
We flew home on Sunday and rested for an hour before we headed out East to pick up the kids from Meg and dad. They had a great time on the farm, as always. They rode the horses and played outside. Maria reported to us that Peepaw cut down two trees and “almost killed himself!” She loved telling the story. Mario reported that he almost fell off their horse, Taz but Peepaw caught him. Maria is learning how to ride Taz better and even steered him herself. She wants to take horseback riding lessons so badly, which I have been struggling with since I know nothing about horses. Jon loves the idea because he loves horses.
I always dreamt that my daughter would play soccer and softball and all of the other sports I loved to play as a girl. I have slowly gotten over my preoccupation with what I think Maria should be and realize I need to let her be who she wants to be. So, horse riding lessons are in her future (of course she picks the most expensive hobby!). When they rode up to meet us, Maria and Mario had huge smiles on their faces. They jumped out of the car and gave us gigantic hugs for minutes long. It was an awesome few minutes. The ride home was just as awesome with them describing their week to us and listening to us about our adventures in Cancun. The evening continued to be great with wrestling and airplane and reading books. We fell asleep with smiles on our faces.
Then Monday morning arrived. Back to the grind. Running around the house trying to get dressed and packed and papers filled out for school. But I took a deep breath as I loaded Maria’s lunchbox in her book bag. I stepped back from the table and stared at M&M and Jon in the hallway putting on their coats. Can I love them anymore? One thing that getting away does for me is reinforce how lucky I am to have such a warm husband and adoring kids. Even if we are at each other’s throats at 8 am on Monday morning.