So my vacation hiatus is over. It should have been over last week, the week we got back, but it took me a while to get back to the blog. Mostly because I didn’t have some hilariously embarrassing story about something Monkey did at an inconvenient time. I mean, there was the typical restaurant meltdown, which consisted of Monkey throwing the menu, trying to throw the salt and pepper shaker, ripping off her bib, throwing food everywhere and screaming. LOUDLY. Actually, that happened more than once. But, as young toddlerhood goes, that’s pretty standard fare. Before the vacation, I also thought that perhaps I would get tired of constantly conforming MY vacation around her every whim and desire, and maybe, just a teensy bit, wish she wasn’t with us. But actually — it didn’t happen. I think there was maybe one hour, during the fifth trip to the beach, that I wished it could just be my husband and me. Alone. Relaxing. Laying in the sand. And reading. And then going in for a swim. Instead of one of us manning the beach so that Monkey didn’t hijack everyone else’s toys, and the other standing 1.5 feet into the water so that she didn’t trip and drown, while Monkey ran back and forth, back and forth, back and forth. A trip to the beach definitely isn’t what it used to be.
But honestly, aside from that one hour — I didn’t get tired of spending that much time with her. Or not really getting to do what I would have chosen, sans a child. And we really didn’t “do” much. Park. Nap. Beach. Ice cream. And it was FUN. I mean, watching her face light up and her body wiggle with sheer joy when we asked “Do you want to go to the beach?” It was like the highlight of my day. The equivalent to someone asking me, “Do you want to meet Keith Urban?” Like, “OMG, that is THE MOST INCREDIBLE THING TO HAPPEN TO ME IN MY ENTIRE LIFETIME,” instead of something we’ve been doing for the past four days. In fact, I had so much fun with her that after the vacation was over I was hit with that all-too familiar post-vacation depression. Toss in the pregnancy hormones and voila! I was back to the crying and despair I felt when I first went back to work after she was born. And I still miss her.
What I’m struck by is how different those vacation days were to the one day a week that I spend with Monkey when I’m not working. When we don’t have something planned, those days don’t seem all that fun. And I wail to my husband, “It’s just not as much fun as I thought it would be.” Sometimes those days just feel so bogged down in the mundane. And I think I realized the difference. I spend so much time looking forward to that one day where I get to spend all day with her, that I think it needs to be really “special.” And I get disappointed if we don’t do something out of the ordinary. And what I realized is that it doesn’t take something extraordinary for Monkey. It’s just the park, or being outside, or having a Popsicle. And letting go of MY idea of what the day “should” be; just like on vacation. Throw in a visit to my Grandma, or lunch with a friend, or maybe an ill-advised trip to story time at the library — and that’s the icing. From now on, I’m going to concentrate on embracing the ordinary. Because honestly, I just can’t believe how fast this is going. And oooh, there go those hormones.