While sitting in the bathtub post-Family Fun Weekend, (getting the relaxation time I did not get while on our mini-vacation), I reflected on the fact that I didn’t take one blessed picture of the whole thing, or post it on Facebook in the act of falsely advertising our family as perpetually happy and joyous and flawless. I guess I’m bored with the sham.
Because, here’s how our Family Fun Weekend really went:
Before even leaving the driveway, I wanted to cry.
Our boys had been on school vacation. We’d all had way too much time together within the four walls of our house, and everyone had cabin fever, because let’s face it, at the end of February everybody hates the snow, everybody is sick of the cold, everybody is on edge, and the simple act of even trying to leave for a mini-vacation will cause a fight.
Bozo wanted to get into his booster seat by getting in through his brother’s side of the car and climbing over to his side. So, he stood by his brother’s door, trying to wedge himself in, while Si kept shoving him back yelling, “Get in on your own side!!!!”. This went on for a few minutes. All the while, my husband and I are trying to shove and jam all of our bags into the back of my Jeep while still leaving enough room for the dog. Eventually both boys reduced each other to tears, we got them both buckled in and headed up the drive.
Before I had even buckled my seat-belt, both boys were to have a 15- minute Time Out when we got to the Hotel.
Once we arrived at the hotel and got our thingy that looks like a credit card in order to get into our room, I thought we were good. We were no longer at home, or in the car, but in a new place with exciting things to distract our kids. However, the boys realized how fun it was to insert the credit card thingy and immediately began fighting about who got to do it first. So, as my husband and I stood in the hallway looking like two Sherpas riddled with a thousand bags, the boys were fighting over who got to use the “key” first.
The rest of the weekend was spent keeping track of who used the key to get into our room last, and whose turn it was next, each and every time we tried to get back in.
Then there was the Water park. It took 13 minutes for my husband to get “spoken to”, which is very close to his previous record of 9 minutes. My husband being reprimanded at any water park we enter has simply become part of our vacation, and has only become more of a game to see how long it will take for him to do something wrong. So far, trying to go down the slides backwards, hanging on the ropes dividing the shallow end from deep end, and loitering in the corner next to the slides are all no-no’s.
But, the real kicker came in the form of a geriatric. During one of our visits, I had seated myself next to an old woman who looked about 100, complete with a hunched back, varicose veins, bony hands and glaucoma. She had on her parka, a knitted hat and was just sitting there people-watching. I was minding my own business, watching my boys splash around, when suddenly I heard her exclaim, “Wow!”.
“Was she talking to me?” I wondered to myself. I stole a side-glance at her and when she caught my eye, she asked, “Did you see that?”, and nodded to her right. My eyes followed the direction in which she was pointing, to a larger woman who had just arrived and had just gotten into her bathing suit to join her kids.
I looked back at the grandma in awe and confusion, and she commented, “I mean, it’s ok if you’re slim, but…..”.
I couldn’t believe what I was hearing!?!? Did she seriously just say that out loud to me?? She kept looking at me expecting me to commiserate with her and all I could do was stare blankly at her and then look away. My husband even noticed my rudeness and wondered what she had said.
I have never in my life wanted to punch a Grandma in the face, but apparently the saying “There’s a first time for everything” really is true. I made it a point to openly scoot my chair further away from her and turn my body away so she would know not to say one more word to me. It’s hard enough going to a Water Park and wearing a bathing suit in front of a slew of others, whether you’re slim or not, but to have someone so blatantly comment on it was a first for me.
She confirmed two things for me: 1) That you do not always evolve as a human being with age and 2) Beauty truly is only skin deep, and the larger woman in the bathing suit was infinitely more beautiful playing with, connecting with and laughing with her kids than the walking liver spot to my left judging her.
All in all, our afternoon was filled with fun things for the boys to do, and finally it was time for bed. After they argued over who was going to sleep with who, I snuggled under the covers with Bozo and drifted into a much-needed No-Need-To-Wake-Up-For-Anything-Tomorrow sleep.
Until exactly midnight, when the alarm clock/radio in between our two king-sized beds suddenly went off in full force, blaring REO Speedwagon’s “I Can’t Fight This Feeling Anymore”.
What the hell is going on right now????
In an instant I was frantic and fumbling all over the bed-side-table, smacking things, feeling for buttons, knocking stuff all over the place and getting nowhere. Eventually, I had to click the light on, and slide one of the buttons to “off” in order to shut it up. My heart was in my throat. I was disoriented, terrified and utterly confused. I’d been in a dead sleep and was suddenly ripped from semi-consciousness to an ear-piercing noise. Miraculously, as I looked around, no one else seemed to have noticed. How could they not have noticed??? It was on full blast right next to our heads???
As I lay in bed waiting for my heart-rate to slow I envisioned two 12-year-old kids, hovering over the alarm-clock radio, setting the alarm for exactly midnight and turning the volume up to its highest potential, laughing at how hilarious it was going to be for the next people who will stayed in that room.
Ha, ha boys. Hilarious.
But alas, the Family Fun Weekend was not all stress and belligerent grandmas. There were times of joy and love and fun. Like, when my older son pretended to be a shark biting Bozo’s foot in the pool while they both laughed hysterically, or when Si and I snuggled in bed together on night two, and I had him laughing until he couldn’t breathe and until he had tears running down his cheeks, making butt and fart jokes (which I don’t usually allow them to do, but hey, it’s vacation), and the dinner we had where my husband encouraged me to have a Sour Irishman, and it was so yummy and I loosened up a little bit. Maybe too much, because when we came home from that dinner, I realized I had lost about twenty dollars in cash at some point causing all of us to turn out hotel room upside down. I’m betting I lost it at the restaurant.
But lost money aside, after all was said and done, I had enjoyed our weekend, both the touching moments and the stressful ones, and didn’t feel the need to post 54 pictures of how awesomely fun and smooth our whole trip went. The boys had a blast, and I was eager to wrap up our mini-get-a-way with a good night’s sleep before we left the next day and nestled myself further down in the covers of the king- sized bed, floating off into la-la land once again.
Until exactly midnight, at which time, it was Bob Seger’s turn to scare the living shit out of me with” Down On MainStreet”.