Happy and Small

We, all 8 of us plus our adopted daughter/go-to babysitter, packed up and headed down to the beach for a little getaway. I’m not going to call it a vacation because that implies relaxation and fun. The kids will have fun, the adults will have stress- it’ll just be stress at the beach. There will probably be sporadic fun for us but there will be no relaxation.

I’m happy for the kids- they love the ocean- and, if I can stay in the moment and not obsess over the potential disasters (drowning, rip current, jellyfish, wandering away, sand caving in and then burying a child alive), I’ll be happy, too. We’ve joined some friends and their 2 gorgeous little kids as well so there will be lots of laughs and memories made, I’m sure.

Yesterday, Mia asked if I was “so excited!?” about going on vacation.
“Heck yeah” I told her “it’s going to be a blast! I can’t wait to play on the beach and jump in the waves! The ocean is magical!”

I was thinking, though, no- I’m not “excited” that’s an adjective for the kids to use about going to the beach. What a vacation with 6 kids is to me is packing up a shit-ton of their stuff and driving it 3 hours to a different location, unpacking that shit-ton of stuff, keeping it somewhat organized so that shirts and wet swimsuits aren’t kicked under the bed and forever forgotten, reminding everyone that just because we’re at the beach, they still have to brush their teeth, keeping 8 kids accounted for at all times on the shore and in the ocean, watching their tender skin like a hawk to be sure they’re not getting too much sun and figuring out a plan for when someone inevitably has to poop and there’s no restroom or toilet paper in sight.

It’s going to be great, though. We made it here late last night. Leo and I stepped out onto the balcony and he saw more stars than he’s ever seen in all his life. There were no city or street lights to compete with their shine. He asked if those stars were always there in the sky or if they were only here at the beach.

“They’re always there, buddy, it’s just easier to see them at the beach. Maybe there are few more out tonight because they knew you’d be here. How does it make you feel to see all those stars shining for you?”

“It makes me feel happy and small” he said. “I wish I could grab some and give them to you.”

“You’re the sweetest boy there ever was. Hey- while we’re here, let’s pick one, name it, and find it in the sky again every night before we go to sleep” I replied.

“Okay! You pick your own- I’m naming mine ‘Super Stank Fart Death Star!”

That’s how our lives are- poignant and gross all at once.

I named my star: “Please help me make it through the next three days without having to freebase Xanax”.


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