I had an amazing time in Marco Island with my kids. Can a heart actually smile? If so, mine certainly is. I can feel it. There is a happy buzzing in my chest and a feeling of contentment that is hard to hide. It is even giving my boobs a little lift.
I rubbed sunscreen on two tiny faces at least 45 times this week. I wrestled with wet swim suits during Max’s frequent trips to the bathroom. I endured dirty looks from other women in the ladies’ room when I brought both of my boys with me during a potty break.
What is a single mom to do?
I say, “Suck it up, ladies. They’re too young to go it alone. Get over yourselves.” That mostly came out as, “Excuse me, sorry, pardon me,” but I sounded really tough in my head.
I rivaled Clark Griswald during my umbrella-carrying, beach-chair-toting, boogie-board-dragging, cooler-lugging trips to the beach. And I did so with the style and grace of a baby calf on ice skates.
I took my boys on their first catamaran sailboat cruise. We had a three-hour tour and stopped at a deserted mangrove island to collect shells and sand dollars. I judiciously checked each conch shell for critters, but one escaped my scrutiny and stunk up our balcony something fierce.
We took a break from the salt and sand at the local water park. One of the pools had a line of anchored buoys in the shape of lily pads that the kids jumped on to cross the pool. “Try to jump in the middle!” I yelled as they muscled their slippery bodies up the side of the tipping lily pad. I played armchair quarterback as my boys played Wipeout- Kid Style.
I also took the boys to the Imaginarium Science Center, a place that from the website, looked amazing! They had a hands-on sea experience where guests could touch and feed sting rays. They also had a dinosaur exhibit, a 3-D movie and a hurricane simulator.
After an hour drive, we pulled into the parking lot, right across from the pre-gentrified slum. There was a dilapidated sign for the restoration project in progress and several bail bondsman nearby. We pushed on to the Imaginarium (a building lacking air conditioning or updates to the displays since the mid-1980’s) and I told myself this was an exercise in social science, too.
I white-knuckled my kids’ hands the entire hour we were there and whisper-yelled at them whenever they tried wander off. We petted sting rays, had our hair blown around in a small, dark room, er, Hurricane Adventure and enriched our minds before we got the hell out of there. All in the name of science.
Each morning I enjoyed a cup of coffee on the balcony, and I tucked my sweet boys into bed each night. I graciously accepted each white shell and molted bird feather handed to me by my sons. I made some enlightening discoveries – like tan fat looks so much better than pale fat and Shirley Temples taste as good in adulthood as they did when I was a kid.
I learned that despite my best effort to NOT become one of those moms who make their entire world revolve around their kids, only to suffer tremendous heartbreak when they grow up and move away (and consequently become overbearing and dreaded in-laws) I’ve lost that battle. I am completely and hopelessly immersed in all that is Sam and Max, and I love it.