Last week was our annual Siggie beach week when 14 of us from age 8 to we’ll say over 60, pile into 2 cabins built in the 1950s (but recently remodeled) just a few hundred yards from the beautiful waters of the Gulf of Mexico. The kids love it. They are surrounded by their cousins filling their time, roaming the beach and the cabins, sneaking juice boxes and cookies, playing talking, laughing, paddle boarding, eating, swimming and trying to talk the adults into trips to Thomas Donut. It is always a great week and we love the time catching up with Robyn’s brother and sister and their families. Evenings sitting on the patio with a beer chatting and listening to music are easily some of my favorites times of the year. It is crowded in the house and there is rarely a quiet moment, but it is a week we all look forward to each year.
This week though. This week, was tough. I don’t mind saying it. Robyn has been in Miami leading a course for international counselors (cause she’s awesome) and the kids and I have hung out in PCB with Sig. (thanks Sig for helping me out and putting up with us all week!) That should have set us up for a great week relaxing and playing on the beach with a few side excursions here and there, but alas, things don’t always go as planned.
The first stop after the airport was to the walk-in clinic to get my double ear infection checked out and a shot of antibiotics in my bum cheek. (flashback to El Salvador)This led to a wonderful hour bouncing between hell and high water, wait I mean Walmart and Target, to get prescriptions filled. Later, that very same evening, the kids began to complain of their ears hurting so we made a return visit to the clinic the following day. Thankfully, they each only managed to conjure up one ear infection each. My week of kids splashing in the crystal clear, gently rolling waves of the Gulf, quickly had digressed into organizing our own home pharmacy and keeping up with dosages. Even the ocean was looking sick, with a nice thick filling of seaweed rolling around in those gentle waves.
No, I’m not going to just complain for this whole entry. As it is, I am sitting on the patio with my coffee, watching the squirrels play in the palm trees this morning. It really hasn’t been that bad. It just hasn’t been that easy either and I’m tired and I want my baby back. No, not the ribs, the Robyn.
I had a chance to take each kid to a movie on their own and that was pretty special. We don’t get a lot of individual times like that unless, it is carting them back and forth to parties, practices or play dates. It gave them a chance to watch something that they each really wanted to watch instead of having to compromise, which if we’re honest here, usually defaults to something appropriate for the youngest. And, I got to see two good movies. Maddox chose Endgame, which turned out to be pretty fun even though it was ridiculously long and Josie went for Toy Story 4 which was fun too.
We also chalked up a couple of first this week. We made our first visit to a Ripley’s Believe it or Not, which actually was pretty fun. I had my doubts, and I’m not necessarily itching to go back, but the kids dug it and it was entertaining and thankfully not crowded. Josie was not a fan of the creepy statues, at all, but found lots of stuff she did like. Oh, and there was a tricked out mirror maze that they would have stayed in for hours. Man my kids love a mirror maze.
Perhaps more important than a first trip to Ripley’s, my kids also made their first trip to an important and historical southern institution. Waffle House. It had been quite a few years since I had managed to visit one of these fine institutions, but it was still everything I remembered. Even though I had never set foot in this particular Waffle House, it was just like all the rest. Friendly, loud, quick and tasty. Ahh, memories…
We’ve also driven the tires almost bald on the golf cart, decorated cup cakes, been to get ice cream (maybe twice) spent lots of time on the beach, enjoyed the 4th of July fireworks on the beach, blown up some of our own fireworks, watched a little bit of TV and tried to help Sig with a few things around the house. All, of course, without one single moment of arguing or kids fighting.
So while it hasn’t been the easiest of weeks, it has been a good one. We’ve laughed, played, argued, recovered, missed mommy, stayed up too late, showered regularly and eaten super healthy every single meal. It has been one of those weeks that reminds me of a quote from one of my favorite authors that I come back to over and over again. Forgive me if I’ve shared this before, its worth a revisit.
…extremely little of each surf session is spent actually standing up on your surfboard on a wave—maybe 1 percent. Most of the time you’re paddling until your shoulders feel like they’re being cattle-branded. If you’re looking to have a good time, it’s essential to find a way to enjoy paddling, or at least good-naturedly bear it. So surfing is life. The good stuff—chocolate and great sex and weddings and hilarious jokes—fills a minute portion of an adult lifespan. The rest of life is paddling: work, paying bills, flossing, getting sick, dying. But nobody ever found lasting joy from being fed beauty and riches and ease from a silver spoon. The sea has taught me that if I’m clear on where I’m going and why it’s good, the struggle is the joy. Plus, the burn helps you enjoy the good waves even more.
So, one more day of paddling on my own until I gather the one I love from the airport tonight and we keep on paddling out into new adventures together. Because that 1% of time when I’m with my crew and everything is going right in those magical moments, yeah, that’s pretty freakin awesome.