Hilton Head a couple of years ago
The other day was a flurry of activity and errands to prepare for the vacation that I can’t afford to take. When I tried to explain this to my father, he used the Parents Secret Weapon in dealing with their grownup children, “Well…I might NOT be here next year!!!”
No rebuttal from me. We are going.
My Dad and his lovely wife have a time-share in Hilton Head, South Carolina and they invited us to go along. There are other family members who are staying in a nearby condo—My Aunt, Uncle, Cousin and his wonderful wife. To prepare, the kids and I headed out to the store.
At Chick-fil-A, our big dinner out…
Darling Daughter: I just don’t see how thongs are comfortable. Everybody always says they are.
Me:Just wait…at my age, you want to cover up with britches—not use astring to section things off, or accentuate whats back there.
Darling Daughter: They wear them with dresses, so there is no underwear line.
Me: (Speechless as that seems a horribly bad idea)
Son (Ears perking up): Really? Why not just use a shoestring?
Me: (Still stunned speechless at the thought of stairs, a breeze…)
As it happened, there was a Car Show out in the parking lot. As we left dinner, I asked the kids if they wanted to walk over and look at them:
Darling Daughter: We could just drive by.
Son (Under his breath so that only his sister could hear): Better make sure she uses focus and doesn’t crash into one of the cars…
Both Kids: Snickering as they get in the car.
Me: Better not drive down the row. I might clip one of the Perfectly Pretty cars, while looking at another.
The kids had a Sister Brother bonding moment. And a good laugh.
Walking into Target with a stream of shoppers…
Me (Asking for it): Does anybody need anything?
Darling Daughter (Loud): Yeah…a THONG, Vagisil, Preparation H…
Me: (Again, speechless…people got whiplash, turning their heads to stare at me with The Eye. The one that accuses the mom of being a lousy parent…)
Both Kids: Snickering, then flat out laughing.
At the shoe section…
Me: What size are these flip-flops?
Darling Daughter (Deadpan): Ugly!!
Nearby shoppers…again giving me the lousy parent look.
Honestly, my week began on a low note. So going out with the kids was a needed diversion. And my kids just love to go shopping with me, so that they can come up with new ways to make an a%# out of me in public. As if I haven’t already got a handle on that one.
My Dad on a past Hilton Head vacation...he was having deep thoughts, or maybe resting his eyes?
I go along with it and take what they dish out—who am I to complain that my kids get along and like each other? Even if they bond over toying with me. These little adventures are what connect us as a family. At least that’s what my parents taught me…
So many adults don’t share their lives with their parents for one reason or another. I am lucky that I can.
My Dad’s take on my current woes…
Dearest Dad: Looking at my stormy past I have no right to judge anybody, so I will pass on any judgments. In my old age, I am trying to practice two things and keep repeating them to myself—slow to anger and keep your (my) mouth shut!!
Me (thinking in my head): That might have been good to know before today…
The Gang...lounging in our chairs as the sun begins to set on the ocean.
Dearest Dad: And when there is no recourse to change the situation, we have two choices #1 Dwell in the past and be miserable or #2 Move to the future and the challenges that lay ahead. #2 is much more attractive, eh? (That’s my Dad’s humor in the lesson) We need to go to Hilton Head and have fun—and forget the past.
And so we are going to Hilton Head. And we may be eating three square meals of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. Because that is what I can afford.
Who cares? I will be eating my peanut butter and jelly sandwich tossed in a beach chair, book in hand, with a toe dipped in the ocean. But more important, the people I love most in this world will be flanking me in their beach chairs…
And that is all that matters today.