seasons in the sun

guess who's back, back again. trice is back, tell a friend.

what a trip. first off, it was crazy to be with sean day in and day out for an entire 5 days, after having gone so long without that. by crazy, I mean good. I don't care that we didn't have alot of alone time (though we did go on a date, courtesy of nicole and mark) because it was just nice to be together.

I read what nicole wrote about her trip experiences, and I echo many of her positive sentiments. and I felt horrible about noah being afraid of bella. though nicole said not to, I couldn't help but feel like we were ruining her (and noah's) vacation by barging in with this over-exuberant being who screams first and asks questions later. I hope they still had a nice time.

what I really loved was the sense of community that I felt being around people who genuinely enjoy being around babies and children. it was a relief that I hadn't anticipated. I didn't have to apologize for bella's behavior (besides the noah thing), I didn't have the feeling that I was bringing an uninvited kid (or kids) into an adult setting, and there were plenty of people around who would watch that neither bella nor noah would crawl off the balcony or pull a lamp down on their heads, or who would play games with trent. I thought to myself, "THIS is what it's like to be around family."

I kept referring to us all as our village, from the saying "it takes a village to raise a child." everyone looked after everyone else. nicole, mark, and nicole's mom carol all watched over bella, and played with trent. sean, trent, and I watched over noah. the babies were happy to roam around unhindered, none of us being overly worried about them crawling away because there was always someone close by. trent had plenty of people to interact with, both at the beach and in the house. it was really a great experience.

we did alot of stuff together with the noah clan, but we also did things by ourselves, which is the perfect balance. one night, while leaving the boardwalk, we happened to pass by nicole's mom carol. we stopped and chatted about what we had seen, and carol invited us to go back up with her to the boardwalk to do some shopping. (unfortunately, we were too pooped.) it wasn't the banter that was remarkable as much as the fact that we were able to have it. I don't have a close relationship with my mother, who is not very fond of babies and generally seems to be a little disinterested in my day to day activities. (not that I'm pounding her door down, either, but still.) my mother can be thought of as a fairly cold woman if you don't know how she expresses her love. and I think we all know how I feel about sean's mom. so having the kind of seemingly innocuous conversation with carol was actually quite extraordinary, for sean and for me, too. it means so much to me that we are close enough to carol to vacation with her each year, for her to confide in us about her life, and for her to be so interested in our lives. it was touching in a way I don't think I'm adequately expressing...as was our entire vacation in ocean city.

it's kind of like trying on a pair of really expensive and comfortable shoes. you take your old crummy shoes off and try the new pair on, knowing you can't buy them and wear them every day, but you feel how comfortable and beautiful they are and just enjoy wearing them for the short time you have until you realize it's time to take them off and put them away. you can only try them on and appreciate that they exist. you put your old shoes back on and they are familiar and well worn and maybe a little uncomfortable at times, but just knowing that you can return to the store some day and put those new shoes back on, if only for a little while, makes it easier.

anyways. sunshine and lollipops and sugar and spice. fluffy kittens. cotton candy and puppies.

and now, I must return to doing what I can to catch up on all my blogmates.

7 validations:

Missuz J said...

SO glad to find you home and happy. My family can be a huge pain in the ass, but ultimately, I know that they love me and my kids and that they will always back me up. It's lovely that you have found that with Nicole and her family.

Damn it. Does anyone else have a really hard time typing in the verification word right? I had to do this one like 3 TIMES!

amandak said...

Yay! Patrice is back!!

Glad to hear you had an excellent vacation. It is marvelous to be in the company of like-minded individuals, isn't it. And extra baby chasers never suck.

We missed you.

lonna said...

I am glad that you were able to find a "surrogate" mother through Nicole's mother. We haven't been in such a child friendly place, but it sounds wonderful. We drag Dermot with us everywhere, and very little of it is child friendly.

NME said...

You made me cry. That was so incredibly moving and sweet. I have to add that to me it is such a blessing to have friends that you both WANT to invite to hang with your family and who you know will enjoy themselves. I love you guys.

Noah's Grandma said...

Wow - I am extrememly honored!! I find you and your family to be very down to earth and fun to be with - and your kids are just too cute!! Thanks for your warm comments - It made my day!

KATIEmagic said...

I'm SO glad you guys are home! I missed you're posts and comments. The shoe analogy is great by the way.

Missuz J, I have to do the word verification thing at least twice every single time. I feel like such an idiot!

Katy said...

I'm so glad you guys are back! This was a great entry and that bit about the shoes was really brilliant. One of those times that you think damn I wish I would have thought of that. Welcome home.