1) The weather was PERFECT.
2) The resort was awesome.
3) I downloaded the Hunger Games trilogy on my Kindle before I left and cannot remember the last time I was so obsessed with reading. (Maybe with the Sweet Valley High series back in elementary school?) I finished all three books by the time the plane touched the ground on the way home.
4) My new heatfree curls technique works wonders in the tropics. (Do you know how hard it's been trying to maintain flat ironed hair at the beach all these years?)
5) SWEET SWEET SWEET SLEEP.
I slept in the room, I slept in the courtyard outside of our room, I slept by the pool, I slept on the beach, I even fell asleep during a facial and woke up only when I realized I had drooled into whatever concoction was currently being rubbed into my face.
It's no secret that I was having a tough time with Mazzy in the weeks (months?) leading up to our trip. She's been stubborn and hot-tempered and whiny and well… TWO.
And work, which is usually the source of some salvation, wasn't making my time away any easier because I was working overtime for a new business pitch.
It is so hard to come home from work when all you want to do is tune out, but instead you have to be a parent. Maybe that sounds horrible but I was really struggling. And Mazzy, of course, wasn't making things any easier.
I found myself rushing through our few precious hours together— the end goal always being to put Mazzy to sleep.
So vacation was a welcome reprieve from both work and motherhood.
Of course, after the initial high of ditching my responsibilites, I missed Mazzy. Maybe not in the first few days but definitely by the fourth.
For Mazzy's part, she seemed totally fine. The girl has no separation anxiety whatsoever— which is probably one of the reasons we are okay with leaving her on occasion.
She was thrilled to be with Grammy (a woman who would purchase the entirety of Toys 'R Us for her, if she had the funds) and didn't have a moment to pine for her parents what with Grammy's master plan to win Mazzy over with an action-packed schedule (the farm, the zoo, the children's museum— and that's just DAY ONE).
Even while skyping, Mazzy was barely interested. Parks to go to, animals to see, etc.
I'm not sure what I was expecting when we got home, especially since my last memory of coming home from a trip was Mazzy smacking me in the face.
But this time was thankfully, very different.
We got home late at night so we were there when Mazzy woke up in the morning. When I went into her room in the morning, she shot up out of bed and yelled "MOMMY?!" with a combination of surprise and delight that couldn't have made me happier.
This past weekend, I found myself really being present with her for the first time in awhile. Helping her sort and re-sort her shells from Mexico, taking my time with bedtime stories, walking her all the way to the playground with the good sandbox— even remembering to bring her pail and shovel.
And she seems genuinely excited to hang out with us— and not just because we are the people who supply her milk and crackers. She's still cranky after her naps and shunning dinner but she is also being uncharacteristically free with the hugs and kisses.
When she wraps her arms around me for a hug, I feel her arms close completely around my neck and she lingers there for a bit unlike before. (Mazzy's never been big on cuddling.)
In fact, at the end of our first day back, Mazzy crawled into my lap and said this complete sentence, word for word:
"I had so much fun playing with you today, Mommy."
Seriously? How could I not be totally in love with my kid?
Vacation was good.
For several reasons.