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Let’s Vacation July 23, 2011

Posted by sarahsfate in My Own Personal Trials, PostADay2011, Thoughts on People, Writing.
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I had forgotten how saltwater effects my ears but, for the first time in years, the hearing in my left ear has returned. And so as my children squabble over the television channel, space on the hotel bed, and the hot tub, I can hear every octave of their shrieks and even their mutterings.

It’s currently almost ten o’clock at night and the children are finishing a long day with a dip in the hotel’s indoor pool. Well, two of them are anyway, my fourteen-year old daughter, having espied a good-looking boy with a mohawk in the hot tub, has decided she’d like to swim after all and has gone back to our room to change. After a short period of time she returned clad in her yellow bikini with her hair nicely combed.

My ex and I then began a conversation about the dating ritual and concerns of youngsters. My ex, Ben, referred to the kids (teenagers and all) as “carefree”, to which I replied  “who, in that room, is carefree?” My argument being that a 14-year old girl is extremely sensitive to her expression, hair, laughter, outfit, swimming technique — every nuance of behavior matters. That’s not carefree — that’s all care.

And then Ben says how silly that is because guys that age don’t particularly care about any of that. She’s cute and that’s the be-all, end-all. He says the majority of men, as well, are this way. Good to know, I say.

It was nice, though, that we were all completely unconcerned with all nuances of behavior (other than behaving in a socially acceptable manner, that is) at the beach today. I didn’t even notice other women being particularly concerned with their persons. What I noticed, instead, were the families building poorly constructed sandcastles, flying kites shaped as hawks, and wading deep into the intense waves slamming to shore. The temperatures remained in the nineties, a lovely change from the over-100-degrees for three weeks weather back home, and the breeze remained constant.

My son, upon his first experience with the ocean, deemed it acceptable entertainment in his 6-year old mind with the exception of all that pesky salt in the water and, therefore, perhaps the hotel pool was better. Kids. My 11-year old daughter has outdone herself in remaining positive and atop our non-schedule. Directly after dinner tonight she, my son, and Ben went outside to be free of the arctic air conditioning system of the hole-in-the-wall we found, and my 14-year old and I sat inside, eating ice cream and discussing the benefits of moving to the coast.

We decided it was difficult to judge the benefits because it’s easy to enjoy a vacation spot when you don’t have to work or go to school because then there’s no stress or responsibility really. But if we moved to the coast, the stress and responsibility would simply follow us to the coast and then…would we still enjoy the coast better than home? It was too difficult to decide so we simply finished our ice cream, pondered the intensity of the waves some more, and then stepped out into the ocean air.

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I Don’t Wanna Grow Up… May 9, 2011

Posted by sarahsfate in My Own Personal Trials, PostADay2011, Thoughts on People.
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I can’t tell you how many times I bemoaned the fact I was a child, when I was a child, nor how many times I was told to appreciate being a child while I could.

Phewy! Phewy I say! Who would ever want to be a kid? You can’t drive anywhere, go wherever you want, eat whatever, do whatever, or say whatever you want. Forget seeing childhood as a gift…I wanted to be an adult every day. It wasn’t even one of these things where the situation had to be me not getting my way in order for me to throw out my bottom lip, cross my arms over my chest, and make claims to being an adult someday. (said in my head, of course, because I didn’t need to be smacked for giving my parents lip).

Why is it that from a young age we immediately want to be the King of the Castle? Feel the need to be in charge and do things our own way? Are we born with some explosive independence that, from minute one, is fighting to get out? For eighteen years (some less than that) we live with our parents. Why, for the love of god, would we be born with independence? What a laugh someone must be having up there.

Babies turn their head away from the spoon when you try to feed them something they don’t want. Toddlers insist on picking out their own clothes…man, to have such a fashion opinion at 4. Incredible. When they ask you for help on their homework and you point out a couple of things, all the sudden “okay, I can do the rest on my own.” Not that I’d complain about this one, but…really. I feel used. 😉

As a kid I was even okay with the idea of having to hold down a job…figured I’d look snazzy in a suit anyway. And I was smart and capable (and slightly delusional). I tell my kids the same thing my parents told me…appreciate being a kid while you can. Seriously. Do you think you’ll have another opportunity with a built-in exuse for laziness? I would never, ever say that school is easy — the curriculum may not be all that tough but let’s face it…kids are jerks. So no, school isn’t easy. But it isn’t like working. It isn’t like having to work to feed yourself and other people; to pay bills. I imagine it must be pretty darn cool to have someone else buy everything you need, make your dinner, and fold your laundry. OH! And this 3-month summer vacation? Say adios to that. Unless you work for the ISD. And while we’re making a list of all the things you’ll lose once you become an adult…might as well add the guilt-free pleasure of naps.

Today I am 32-years old and now that I understand what all those old stodgy people were telling me when I was a snot-nosed kid, I make sure to sing along every time the Toys R Us commercial comes on. For a minute I can pretend I’m five-years old, riding my rocking horse and really mean it when I sing I don’t wanna grow up…