Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Four Monkeys and an Airplane

The clock on the wall read 12:35 AM.  We had been at it for hours.  Our words tumbling around and around like laundry in the dryer.  Should we go?  Could we go? 
The room was lit only by the bluish glow of the smartphone screen as I silently searched for travel insurance information.  We scoured for cancellation policy details but it was not necessary.  The answer was there.  Written all over our tear-stained faces.  Obvious in the lines of concern that creased our foreheads. 
It would be a moderately expensive mistake but one well worth it. 
We found out that we just aren’t’ those people.  We aren’t’ the people who can vacation without their kids. 
Now I could have told you this about the Monkey Maker.  No great shock there.  But me?  Never would have guessed it.
And yet there I was, six hours away from our time of departure, suggesting that we just stay home.  And meaning it.
The trip was lovely in theory, a wonderful opportunity. 
But there are lots of theories that don’t’ pan out…
After we agreed not to go we both breathed a sigh of relief.  We hugged for a long time and sent a text to my mother-in-law sleeping in the downstairs bedroom.  It read, “We aren’t going to go.”  The response, “I’m not at all surprisedJ
What can I say, the woman knows her kids.
In the morning, Monster Monkey was the first to rise.  He tore out of the back bedroom at 5:55 AM.
“Mom,” he nudged me on my makeshift bed on the floor, “You overslept! Did you miss your plane?” 
"Nope, we didn't miss the flight." I explained, "We just didn’t go, we couldnt' leave you guys."  He sheepishly buried his head in my chest and gave me a bear hug.  The relief was tangible and real. He had been so stoic the night before as the Monkeys went to bed, “holding it together” for the smaller kids who were more forthcoming about their devastation at the thought of our departure. 
His next question, however, was…less cute.  “Do we have to go home with you?”   His lower lip quivered as his beautiful features contorted into the “cry face” …you know the one I’m talking about.  
My in-laws, God bless them, had volunteered to watch the kids during our trip.   ALL FOUR OF THEM.  They had an itinerary planned for the week that would put Walt Disney to shame.  While we were in Key West, our children were going to be at amusement parks, museums, beaches, pools, aquariums….and that was just on the first day. 
So as I looked deeply into his beautiful blue eyes, giant wet tears hanging from his lashes and thought, "If we hurry, we can still make our flight."
But instead I assured him that he and his fellow Monkey's would most certainly get to have fun with Kimmie Jenny and Mom-Mom Pop-Pop. 
Monster Monkey later very graciously offered us to come along with them on their planned adventures and we gladly accepted the offer.  
In the end the trip turned out to be a wonderful opportunity even though we didn't go.  Instead we learned just how much we love our kids.  Just how much we enjoy being with them. 

All too often something terrible has to happen to make us appreciate how blessed we are.  We count ourselves lucky to learn this lesson for the bargain basement price of the cost of two tickets to paradise.   

And to this Momma, that was priceless. 

1 comment:

  1. I would have gone in a heart beat - but at 65 it's easy to say - at 35 I'm not so sure plus no one ever offered to watch them:) I knew when you canceled your trip you would make a great blog out of it (better than looking at vacation pictures:)!! Love, E