Being the only one in my family who lives outside the city where we grew up together, I often feel guilty about missing out on the lives of my siblings and my parents.
So I try as often as I can, to be a part of things that are important to them.
When my brother said he was planning a destination 30th birthday in Mexico, I said I’d be there.
I got a passport and time off work and ordered my spot. My girlfriend came with me.
We arrived on Saturday afternoon, on two hours of sleep (I had closed the restaurant the night before and they changed our flight to an even earlier one). We slept for a few hours, ordered room service, then slept more and more and more hours. We slept fourteen hours and by god, good sleep can cure almost anything.
On weekends I work 25 of my 42 kidfree hours. But not last weekend.
We woke up to this giant buffet of all sorts of foods: omelettes and sweet breads and fruits and yogurts and bagels and lox and sausage. There was coffee and there was Mexican coffee (sweetened with cinnamon and sugar).
We gasped at the plenty and then we ate and ate and ate.
We walked off the resort to exchange some dollars for pesos. We got a losing scratch ticket and a winning one (scratch tickets I can understand in any language). I saw a strange creature, maybe as common in Mexico as the squirrel in America.
I love palm trees in the wind. The sway of them, like a hula skirt. Trees dress for their surroundings, like us: forest tress thick with needles year-round, a coat in the winter snow vs. beach trees leggy and bare below the thigh.
I found a place to sit and listen to the waves and write. I’m deep in a writing project that I both needed a vacation from and fresh inspiration to tunnel back into.
We got ridiculous henna tattoos, my girlfriend and me.
The vacation was just a few days: long enough to relax and recharge but not so long that I felt useless. I am back parenting and washing dishes and buying groceries and creating lesson plans and jam-packing my weekends with work. But also, I remember now to look up. That here too, in the midst of chaos, it is beautiful.