Tuesday, February 3, 2009

The Bad Moms Club

My sister, Wendy, is lucky enough to have in-laws with a vacation home on Goodland Island - just off Marco Island on the Gulf side of Florida. She takes advantage of her luck quite often during the cold wintry months. Last week I was fortunate enough to take advantage of her luck as well. In the midst of a huge storm, our friend, Johnna, and I were scheduled to fly to sunny Florida to spend a few days with Wendy.

We were a little nervous, and rightfully so, that we weren't going to get out of Ohio at all. There had been snow then ice then snow. Schools and businesses were closed. Our county was under a level 2 snow emergency and several surrounding counties were under a level 3. Many flights were being cancelled. Tom said "if the plane will get you to Florida, I'll get you to the airport." That Tom? He's okay. It was no easy feat, but he did indeed get us to the airport.

At 11:15 we left the house to pick up Johnna.

At 12:20 we arrived at the airport (normally a 15 minute trip).

At 1:45 our plane boarded - right on time.

At 4:30 we landed - right on schedule.

The sign, through the car window, says: Welcome to Southwest Florida, a Snow Emergency Free Zone (I made that last part up).

At 5:30 we arrived at our final destination and removed our watches. We were officially living on island time.

Crossing the bridge to Marco Island at sunset.

My favorite part of vacation - particularly (but not exclusively) a beach vacation - is watching the sun rise and enjoying the quiet mornings before anyone else gets up. I'm almost always the only human I'm aware of, but I'm certainly not the only sign of life. As I enjoy my coffee and a nice quiet read, I am accutely aware of various birds, both visually and aurally. Occassionally a small fish jumps and ripples the water. One morning a pair of dolphins swam down the canal that was our back yard. I wish I were a better writer so that I could capture these sunrises with words. I wish I were an artist so that I could capture these sunrises in paint. I wish I were a musician so that I could somehow capture these sunrises in song. But I'm just me. So I'll take my point and shoot pictures and jot down my notes and do my best to capture them in my heart.

Wendy has a boat, as most good islanders do, and she took us out a couple times to isolated beaches. It has been a long time since I've been on a boat! I was so enthralled by the wind in my hair, the sun on my face, the salt on my lips and the dancing diamonds on the water that I would've missed the pair of dolphins coming out of the water right beside us if Wendy and Johnna hadn't pointed them out.

Our trusty captain

Playing in the sand

Of course it WAS a girls island vacation, so it wasn't ALL poetry and sunrises and isolated beaches. When the sun set, it was a party. Yeah, it was a girls party, but a fellow by the name of Don Patron was in full attendance. We went through an embarrassing amount of tequila and limes.

Wendy, me and Johnna - Cheers!Wendy and Marian (off camera) explaining - um - dolphin anatomy to Johnna

There are a few bars on the island and I do believe we hit them all, but we did our hardest partying right on our own deck. For those of you nodding in agreement and saying "safer that way", well - you're right and you're wrong. The island is small. We didn't even have access to a car. Our modes of transportation were bike, boat, and golf cart.

Johnna crossing the bridge to pick up more limes! Proper provisions are important. We didn't want to get scurvy or anything.

Now the observant reader may be wondering at this point, what's up with the title? Aside from the 3 bottles of Patron in as many days, I haven't read a diddly damn thing that implies inferior maternal abilities. It had been brought to our attention - and not entirely gently - that perhaps abandoning our children to go off galavanting in the sunshine was neglectful. Now let me set you straight on that notion right now. None of our children were abandoned. They were left in the very capable hands of their fathers. How can something that leaves your mom happy, refreshed and - whole - make her bad? It's simply ridiculous. And not at all selfish, I don't believe. If one takes care of oneself, one is in much better shape to take care of ones family. No apologies. Bad moms, my ample ass.

Plus, if living like this every now and then makes you a bad mom, don't you kind of wish you were one, too? We have an open enrollment policy...


Jenny Penny said...

Oh, gawd, yes. I would do shameful things to get out of the cold and snow and into the sunshine on a beach right now. Shameful things.

smarmygal said...

I went to New Orleans 2 weekends ago for a conference and got a post-trip argument guilt-trip. Made me want to jump a plane a join you. YES, while my hubby understands it is good for the Mama and, by proxy, everyone else to have some restful, restorative time, I don't think he fully gets that he needs to be part of the solution. God Bless Tom. (inserting salute here)

Swine said...

Beautiful vacation log. I wanna be a bad mom, too. Although I'm technically a man, if it meant spending some time in a place that sweet, I'm not above utilizing the tuck method popularized in Silence of the Lambs.

mommakin said...

We'd let you play, dude. But you might need to endure an elaborate initiation ritual.

You would've loved it. Critters aplenty.

scrappysue said...

can i pleeeeeeeeeeeease come with you next time???