But oh, will this feel good, to be on vacation. I have friends with more than one kid, friends who warned me that life with two would be more than twice as hard. But those friends: some don't work. Some work from home, so can throw laundry in the wash or start dinner or pay bills or wait for the repairman while working. Some have nannies, under whose purview of childcare is included the younger set's portion of the family laundry, the family food prep, the family dishes, and general tidying maintenance to sandbag the floodwaters of Moving Child Object Displacement. Very few of my friends work full-time out of the home, have no hired help, and have more than one child. Very, very few meet that description and observe Shabbat, as we do, thereby cutting in half the weekend's potential for laundry, grocery shopping, floodwaters sandbagging, and also thereby increasing the weekly allotment of requisite Details to Be Attended To. I'm not complaining at all; my life is a thrill ride at an amusement park. Even though I'm just buckled in and trying to keep my hands inside the compartment at all times, each three minute segment ends with me smiling, and out of breath. But: since having the second child, since returning to work after having that second child, I'm still smiling, but I think our go-cart jumped to a track with higher climbs and faster drops, and right now we're climbing so high and moving so fast I can't see the ground. We're not in teacups anymore. I hear there are loop-de-loops around the next bend, and the one after that.
Shavuot is next week, a fun two-day Jewish holiday that makes the perfect excuse to retire to the beach for a seven-day holiday. We're going with wonderful friends, a family with two out-of-the-house full-time-employed parents, no hired help, Shabbat observance and more kids than we have. They understand in their souls our desire for a low-key, quiet, relaxing, sunshine and sunscreen and synagogue services kind of week. With our annual tradition of celebrating the holiday with an excessive fondue dinner, and maybe a trip to the tax-free outlet mall thrown in, too. And maybe a trip to an ice cream parlor, but not much else.
So we're more or less packed now, in the most haphazard way I've ever packed. The girls might have way too much clothing and I might not have enough underwear, but we're staying in a house with a washer and dryer and anyway, maybe that means I'll just have to spend more time in my bathing suit, vacationing. The mail is stopped and the newspaper is stopped and the neighbor is notified and the alarm is set and the attack dogs are instructed, because when we leave this house we are really leaving it. We're not allowed back for a week, for anything. Until we cool the flow of adrenaline a little, read a whole book without pictures, or maybe at least a magazine, and despite the title of this blog, find a few minutes to lie still. Ideally, in the warm sun, with the sound of ocean waves and my childrens' laughter and the comfort of my husband's supervision of them and big, dark sunglasses that will hide my closed eyes, but not my smile. And I'll be breathing slowly.