Wednesday, June 29, 2005
Back and Blogging
The weekend in San Diego with my family as well as my sister’s was eventful enough, what with a couple of days’ worth of the Zoo and Sea World, bad food, herding children, taking pictures of animals and children, avoiding sunburn, squeezing in cocktails-and-a-buzz by the pool, and being deprived of quality sleep (my sister and myself due to our busy minds). There were a few insightful moments, however.
The first was learning my sister has extremely high taste in hotels even if they cost too much. She chose the hotel and I was surprised at just how high-scale the place was – I had expected that she’d choose something modest, that perhaps she’d forgotten our upbringing (my parents liked to indulge in fancy hotels and gambling in Vegas and often paired up with rich friends so we got used to nannies, hotel room service, and paging our father away from the blackjack tables). I thought perhaps she’d become frugal raising her three children in this regard. Nothing but four stars! I was reminded of the family I was once a part of, our family, and she and I laughed secretly over the “champagne taste” our parents instilled in us, taste that clearly doesn’t go away.
Next, over margaritas and tiled tables at Islands while my husband and I waited for the large order of hamburgers and fries and one order of onion rings, I asked him if he was sure he wanted to take the road trip to San Francisco with just our kids, with all the potential for misery and buyer’s remorse, and instead of hearing a tired, “Yeah, sure,” I heard that he’d lost faith in God and in the concept that if you live a modest life you’ll get to heaven (as he was taught in his Baptist home) and since he’d lost faith he’d begun to think that this round, this one round, is the only round we get and being that we don’t know whether he or I or anyone will be here next year, he’s decided there will never be another summer when J is 11 and M is 4 and A is 8 and we’ll never again be 41 and 57 and so yeah, sure, let’s spend the money and take that trip.
I licked the rim of the margarita glass to get the salt and sucked down a little more and said, “All right then, Amen, let’s go.”
Lastly, when it was late finally and the kids were settling into their spots (M in a Barbie sleeping bag, the kind you have to blow up with a little yellow plastic accordion-like pump, A next to me in the bed, J in a rollaway cot, D in the other bed), I found sweet how comfortable all five of us were to find our little spots in that small but luxurious room. Like puppies maybe, all piled around the mother, like bats maybe hanging in the cave, next to each other, tightly, with no sense of needing space because this is where “we” were at that moment, at that time, needing rest, grateful for the rest after our long day. Nobody complained, nobody bothered one another, nobody expressed any discomfort whatsoever. Our familial selves seemed in that moment to find one another and acknowledge our having been assigned (or gifted) the job of traveling through this one life together, this one round.
We’ve been back a couple of days, J is sick with a flu, D is battling teaching re-assignments (with great misery), the kids want to go swimming with the neighbors, and I’m wondering whether blogging is good for my writing or not. I think…I think…I’ll sit on the porch with my book and waste away the afternoon.