Emma’s response to my question of what she would want to take with her on the plane to NYC next month was “maps!” Maps she can pour over and get excited about seeing the Great Wall of China or the Eiffel Tower (because let’s not get it twisted, she’s 2… her maps come with cartoon pictures, not topography).
I couldn’t wait until I could travel the world constantly. But first I was limited because I was a kid and my vacations, although fantastic – oh hi there mom and dad! – weren’t usually outside of the U.S. And then I was an adult and I could do what I want… but I was a broke college kid with no funds. A big day out was when my boyfriend got a car and could drive me to six flags – oh hi there Ryan! So I got a steady paying job with pretty severe blackout periods of when I cannot travel – so long January, February, March, April, July, and October.
Now I know what you’ll say, if you want to travel the world so much, do it. Turn in that resignation letter, pack a bag (or 3) and just take off to places unknown. But I actually prefer the boring life of waking up to an alarm, taking Emma to daycare where I know all the teachers and the kids, going to work where I feel confident (most of the time) about what I do, and then going home to chill with Ryan and Emma and yell at whatever new disaster the Orange dictator has created.
So I continue to do what I’ve done my whole life, read travel books, plan out imaginary itineraries in my head, look at maps, study travel blogs and dream.
And now I have a friend / mini me to do it with, while we count down the days until our next vacation.
When I started out in public accounting the year after Enron failed (read: work tripled overnight in the wake of new stringent requirements) we would sometime have these cluster groups to vent about the job and get ideas from others. The only thing I remember from those sessions was the moms in the group saying that work / life balance didn’t mean 50/50 each day but a see-saw…. some days were 100% about work and some days were 100% about life, and the latter got you through the former.
Well today was the latter. And it was awesome.
My annual busy season ended in mid-March with 19 days before my first quarterly busy time started, so when I found out Emma’s daycare was closed the last Monday of March due to Prince Kuhio day (if you want lots of three day weekends, be a state worker in Hawaii… we have state holidays for so many Hawaiian royals!) I jumped at the chance to have a day out with my mini me.
We started with breakfast out at a popular restaurant deemed too far away to visit unless in the area for another reason (even though it really is only about 35 minutes away from me).
The special kalua pork eggs benedict for me, and the photo-after-eating-started french bread and fruit off the children’s menu for Emma.
I was a little hesitant because in recent months Emma has been a complete nightmare at restaurants. We’ve had talks about it and I made deals with her (I will supply super fun coloring books, etc. for you to play with at the table if you behave!) but I never saw it in action until today. She was awesome!!!
Made easier by her overhearing the boys next to her discussing the Octonauts, one of Emma’s favorite tv shows. The boys’ dad, who maybe hasn’t had to watch the Octonauts on repeat as often as I have gotten to, kept looking at his sons confused while asking, “what are you saying?” while Emma would bounce in her chair grinning and whispering (but not really whispering) “did you hear mommy?! They know about octonauts too!!!!”
Then it was off to Dole Plantation for a train ride through a pineapple (and other produce) field… but really we went because OH MY GAWD TRAIN!!!!
There was also a bunch of Koi that you could feed if you paid $0.50. Emma was obsessed.
We spent maybe 2 minutes in the world’s biggest maze before calling it quits and getting some famous Dole Whip (the same stuff they have at Adventureland in Disneyland/World.
After a nap for her (ok I crashed for half an hour too…) and dinner prep for me, I caved and let her enjoy some Octonauts before making some English muffin pizza’s for Emma’s dinner.
And my “adult” dinner for Ryan and myself didn’t seem to be so bad either.
I am definitely NOT cut out to be a stay at home mom but I love the days that I get to pretend that I am one.
In a couple hours I will be leaving for my high school for the worst type of class reunions. A class reunion at our high school church, honoring the life of our fellow classmate who passed away in March. For a girl who, without many of us realizing, helped keep us all together as a class for the last 18 years after we graduated. There have been a lot of musings ever since news of her passing came out as to whether we’ll remain as close (well as close as 420 kids scattered across the globe can be) without her to unite us all. There are guys from our class that for whatever reason typically choose to make tasteless, offensive jokes in life and on social media. At least this time, they are finally taking the high road and commenting that they cannot think of anything but wonderful memories of her. Neither can I.
Punahou Carnival, Hawaiian Plate Lunch Booth C/O ‘99 Volunteers. We’ll miss you Hollis!