Paradise and Parenting: Relax and Unwind.

Have you ever really needed a vacation so badly that, once you actually get the break, you cannot relax? This is what has been happening to me during Semana Santa.
Perhaps you might have noticed that Easter came a little later than usual this year. If you are a teacher or are married to one, you definitely noticed and have the eye twitch to prove it. That means it was a constant blur of activity and motion in the days leading up to spring break, and at 3pm on the last day of school, this frenetic movement forward stopped as suddenly as a galloping horse at the edge of the Grand Canyon. In this particular metaphor, you as the teacher are the unfortunate rider, thrown clear into the abyss.
In my case, the abyss is my home and all of the things that we need to do inside of our house. While I’m working my forty hour week I don’t often notice all the little things needing to be fixed, such as light bulbs or the grass being slowly replaced by the unlucky kind of clover. Once I’m home all day and not trying to invent activities for the children (in order to give the TV a break), I’m staring dispiritedly at the paint that is chipping off the walls in a steady gray powdery stream. As long as there are things to do, relaxation in its pure, lazy form eludes me.
I decided to forget relaxation for a couple of days and took my daughter to Guadalajara for a girl’s shopping trip. I figured it would be great chance to connect with her and a good opportunity for Gilberto to spend some time with his son. When we got back, we would all be tired and perfectly ready to relax.
It all worked out according to plan except for the part where my daughter and I got stranded in an elevator which coincidentally happens to be my worst fear in all my life. I started panicking but had to keep smiling and acting like everything was fine for my daughter’s sake (parenting is basically just compulsively lying). I must have given away my distress when I started trying to pry open the doors with all of my strength, because she said “Mom, you need to calm down.”
I turned around, smiling, which must have been pretty terrifying, because she backed away and rang the alarm bell. Happily, we were rescued within about ten minutes (although it felt a bit more like two weeks) and I pretended to be happy and relieved instead of screaming hysterically at the hotel staff like I imagined in my head.
I figured after that that everything would be fine, because what could be worse? We enjoyed a great time pillaging the Old Navy in the Galerias mall in Zapopan, spent the night at the hotel doing face masks and watching “Hoarders” in Spanish, and headed back to PV the next day.
But I didn’t count on leaving my son alone with his dad and when we got home, The Boy’s hair was dyed completely blue and his father was conveniently at a work gig. He couldn’t have been more pleased with himself. I will say that when I started smiling he did take a step back.
At the end of week one, I decided that life was too short to worry about a body part that actually does grow back, and to be fair, I should have realized that, when I married a rock musician, hair color might not always be natural in our family.
And we did come up with a few great activities to unwind a little. Lucky for me, we have the beautiful river, and we have El Rio BBQ which is STILL OPEN for a week or two more. For some reason the Semana Santa crowd didn’t overrun it, and my friends and I had a great afternoon sipping cold drinks and listening to my husband and Bob’s classic rock set. Our children sat in the river and played Truth or Dare (once you hit thirteen, apparently simply swimming is kind of lame too).