Priceless Secret

Posted by jael on Aug 17, 2010 in Parenting

I can’t tell you what I most want to write about because it would invade someone else’s privacy, and that would be unfair and self-indulgent.  That the one robbed of secrets would be one of my children makes it even more taboo.  I imagine the children feel plenty plundered simply having me as their mamma, let alone were I to blab about their business in a blog.

So, I won’t break decorum and narc on my own, but I will tell you about where we stayed at the beach and how I got the skinny on the scoop in the first place.

Our beach trip was an ill conceived and ever dwindling effort.  Last August in the triage of back to school, we observed that once again we had not made the family vacation happen.  Swim team, camps, week at grandma’s, local venues, check, check, check and check.  Getting us all together Away was something we hadn’t managed.  Again.

The Husband and I promised each other and the kids that this would be the summer that we went somewhere together.  Just us.  Not us visiting someone, not us showing up to celebrate something, but just us as a family going somewhere together for no other purpose than to be Away together.

Fast-forward to this August as the school year looms more heavily than morning breath after tacos.  The Husband and I did a quick pull up to compare status reports and mission statements.  Once again, swim team, check.  Various and sundry camps for the kids, check.  A week at grandma’s, check.  Local venues, check.  The family vacation box remained as empty as a Halloween bag in June.  Getting us all together Away was as unlikely as ever before, and money as tight or tighter.

The Husband and I talked about it and decided we needed to follow through.  I admit that the girls taking to their room for a spontaneous time of Worship & Prayer when they learned that the beach was probably off did compel.

I’m not kidding.  That really happened.  Even more odd, is that it was done without manipulation or intent to sway.  The Oldest Girl simply said, “You know how you say you’re gonna pray about something, and then you don’t, but you should?  We wanted to make sure we prayed this time.”  It still gives me something of an icy headache to think about, such elegant innocence like binging on vanilla ice cream on a stormy day.

As the girls clutched together in all but Pentecostal revival, The Husband and I ran some numbers in the office.  We went for the cheapest ocean front room we could book for a night.  In peak season this ended up being a ground floor room at Econo Lounge with two double beds.

That Middle Girl gushed; “This is a really nice hotel!” offers all the testimony that will ever be needed to prove how little we have traveled as a family.

It’s a dive.  The bathroom door is peeling and splintered.  The worn carpet is sandy, but it doesn’t really matter, because two of the kids have to bunk on an air mattress on the floor, so it’s not like we can walk on it anyway.  Last night, someone stole our beach towels from the rail outside the sliding door.

None of that matters though.  Not to me, and certainly not to the children.  The ocean is 50 feet from the door, and last night we feel asleep listening to the waves crash as a resident cricket serenaded our happy, sunburned troupe.

It is also the place that I learned the secret.  All of us jammed into this experience-worm space sharing one bathroom have taught me a thing or two about the six of us.

The details of the discovery are less important than their impact.  I am so grateful we made the decision to come.  Our children are growing up and changing more quickly than the rolling tide.

Our ground floor dive of a room and eating out of the cooler feels like a 5 Star retreat to me.  There is something suspended about the bliss bubble of this modest room.  Its minimal niceties maximize our thirst to be here with each other.  The memories we archive mean more to me than soft down duvets or meals that require forks.

My children are growing up, and these days Away together at the beach have been priceless.

I’ll stand before the Lord of song with nothing on my tongue but Hallelujah!

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