Monday, March 29, 2010
Give me a (Spring) break!!
Spring Break started in Los Angeles today, that means that K is home with me for the entire week. Last week I was thrilled at this thought, there's so much we can do together and I kind of miss hanging with her during the day. Then I realized that I still had my own things to do and she would be with me through it all, including food shopping. We make little deals with our kids all the time: do this and you'll get that, promise you won't do this and you'll be rewarded with something. We all do it. Today I made K promise me that she won't ask for more than 3 things at the supermarket. I swear we were about ten feet in the store when she asked for her 10th thing. Ugh. When does school start again?
I remember when Spring Break brought on a whole other set of feelings. When I was younger we always went to Florida to see the grandparents and have Passover with them. If it was a good year it was my dad's parents, I loved going to see them, the Seders their friends threw were wonderful and packed with people. The rest of the week was spent in the pool or frying in the sun. The evenings were spent in vinegar baths to alleviate the sunburn I always got and then after in the kitchen playing that gin rummy tile game. I can still hear the click-clack sound of those tiles on the glass table. If it wasn't my dad's year we still went to Florida, flying as unaccompanied minors to my other grandparents, the ones who didn't do Seders but were Jewish and didn't have games. They did have a pool and a shuffleboard court, so at least I had something. The nights were spent outside playing with the other visiting grandkids until we got too loud and security sent us back upstairs, then it was in front of the TV and bed. More irony here is that both sets of grandparents had been good friends of each other for years and even lived in the same building in New York. After my parents got divorced the friendship ended so during these Florida trips we never got to see the other set of grandparents. This was only a problem when it wasn't my dad's year.
If no Florida trip occurred and we stayed in New York it was pretty much the same story: With my dad we went to his brother's house and had a great time, four kids pretty close in age, a dog to chase us and a Seder that was long enough for us to pay attention but short enough to enjoy it. The rest of the time we would find fun things to do in the city or get to swim in the indoor pool my dad had in his building. If it was mom's turn we would have a dinner at her sister's house (again, no Seder, what's up with the complete absence of religion with these people?) the rest of the week I was designated babysitter, not much fun and no pool.
In college Spring Break was always spent in Florida and because I was 18 I decided where to go. This time it was a lot more interesting. I remember the first time I stayed with friends on the strip in Ft. Lauderdale. I promised to devote a night or two with family but after the Seder I was immediately dropped off at my hotel and met up with my friends (who had also made similar arrangements) and we went right to drinking. This was the first time that I was a participant in a Florida Spring Break. When I was young I never understood what was so great about Spring Break, so big deal, you get to swim and see your family, but why did everyone always talk about it like it was some monumental event? Then I saw a Spring Break report on MTV. Oh yeah, that's waaaaay different. Finally I was going to have one of those Spring Breaks.
It couldn't have been more than a few minutes after checking in that we found our way to the bar, which was conveniently located fifteen feet from our room. We immediately made friends with the Aussie bartender who promised to take care of us all week. He was a man of his word. We drank so much we got our days and nights mixed up, luckily it didn't matter on the strip that week. I also got my first case of sun poisoning that week after falling asleep at the beach, all I'm going to say about that is if you drink a lot and fall asleep in the sun, cover the parts that don't normally see the sun, if you don't you will literally burn your ass. This hurts a lot. The next few days (or nights, cloudy memory on this trip) were spent at strip favorites like The Candy Store, Penrod's and Summers. I'm so glad that there were no camera phones or Girls Gone Wild yet.
After one of those days or nights I woke up in the shower of our room fully clothed and completely hung over. I could barely see a thing. There were sleeping people all over the place I think there might have been at least ten bodies strewn around, that's eight more than there should have been. It was completely and eerily quiet too. I walked out of the room and didn't see any signs of life. I crossed the street and headed to the beach. It was sort of hazy which combined with my blurry vision make it seem creepy, for a second I thought that maybe I was dead. I started walking and in the distance I heard faint singing, this was surprising so I started walking towards it. As it got louder it sounded like a chorus, as I got closer to it it sounded like praying. Oh my god, I thought, I AM DEAD!!! I walked up to a robed choir singing on the beach, in front of them was a mass of people. Literally, I wasn't dead, it was an Easter Mass on the beach. Thank god someone noticed my confusion and helped me sit down. I stayed for part of it, they all seemed nice and didn't mind me being there, I stayed until I had the strength to get up. I found my way back to the hotel and told the group of now awake friends and strangers what happened.
We all agreed to ease up on the drinking, not stop but not to the point of unconsciousness. Besides we were headed back to school soon and needed to get our internal time clocks back to normal.
I went back for Spring Break a few more times after that, carefully monitoring my alcohol intake. While the other trips were fun they never matched that first time. Even with deadly sunburn that trip was awesome. Some of the stories I will not write, certain promises will remain honored even though I have no idea where those other girls are now. Besides I'm a mom now, who wants that stuff out there. Again, grateful for the lack of technology and Joe Francis still being in school. I even did a Spring Break trip with Starter Husband before we got married, that certainly wasn't the same, although it was nice to walk around the strip with an escort, the rules of personal space don't usually exist during Spring Break.
Off point yet again, but I wanted to talk about Spring Break and how it differs in each part of my life. This week should be fun for us. Tonight we are going to a Seder with some good friends who live in Germany for most of the year. We've been celebrating Passover with them since K went to preschool with their son B, an adorably smart little boy who is the only one that's ever been able to keep up with her. I love this family and cannot wait to see them. This week we will make plans with them to do something fun. K will have a sleepover with J at A's house (which means that D and I will have a whole night to ourselves!!), we will have lunches out, get our nails done, visit D at work, go shopping and relax. We will not wake up to an alarm we will not rush through traffic to get to school on time. We will go where we want to when we want to. We will have complete freedom.
This is certainly safer than third degree burns and a fake death experience. Besides I don't think I can take one of those hangovers and waking up in the shower would be hard to explain to a six year old.
a zisn Pesach