It’s A One-Piece World, Baby! Let’s Go To The Pool!

 

Ladies, I have amazing news for you!  

The one-piece swimsuit is making a come back!!  

Yassss you heard it here first, and no, it’s not just me thinking it’s making a comeback based on the middle-age websites I’ve been shopping on. No, its really making a come back.  Just look at sites like JCrew (ok fine, that’s total suburban mom style) or Cupshe or Roxy (yeah, that’s where the cool girls shop).  One-pieces everywhere!

Now is the time!  Pretend like you are at Costco and buy in bulk! You may never get this chance again to be this cool and this acceptable all at the same time!

And it couldn’t be happening at a better time.  Because one day I was doing ok and holding my own and then the very next day I woke up and I looked like an apple on a stick.   Literally, overnight.

I am one day away from having the sweet darling in the grocery store point to my stomach and say, super loud for all to hear, “BAYBEE!!!”  

And I try these crazy diets, like no wine (I told you; freaking crazy) and I fail like an hour after I start, because, wine.  It’s like a major food group that I cannot do without. And no matter how thin I am–even at my thinnest of my 40s, there simply is loose skin and tired muscles.  

And I have three little ass holes, I mean precious hearts, to thank for that.  Because at some point, post triple children, the skin and muscles around my abdomen just decided to stop trying. Muscles be like, Oh, I’m so tired trying to be firm and strong, I just want to lay down and rest.  And that’s just what they did. And the skin holding in those lazy ass muscles was like, hey, let’s invite our friends, the Fat Family to stay with us! They could move in, with all their shit, and just stay til the end of time!  

And so here I am, with lazy, taking-a-lifetime-nap  abdomen muscles and allllll their friends, skin and fat, just hangin around.  Doin nuthin.

Some women say, “it’s your badge of honor, this beautifully imperfect body you now have in your 40s, for creating the miracle of life multiple times!”  Well that’s lovely, but you can shove your badge. I have wrinkles and thinning hair and a goddamned empty bank account thanks to my “miracles of life.”  

We don’t need no stinkin badges.

What we need are plastic surgeons, which brings me to another point:  Hotties with besties of the MD surgeon kind, we see you. And we know why you look like you do.  You are one lucky beeyatch in your two-piece, too-hot, too-close to me at the pool. Maybe you need your own special section at the pool so you don’t make the rest of us look so bad.  Yeah, we could call it the Special Suction. Ha.

The rest of us mothers of the forties (I mean age group, not century-of), need to grab our one- pieces fast, because they are selling out.  Especially the reasonable sizes.

But please, try to find one with the teensiest amount  of sex appeal so you don’t come full force shlumpadinkin to the pool and embarrass the hell out of your kids. Like, whose Grandma did you come with?

Throw on some wedge flip flops with that one-piece gift from the heavens, and grab a drink poolside.  The suit will gloriously hold in your belly when the bloat sets in, so throw caution to the wind! We will NOT sit in the shade in our clothes and watch all the others have all the fun!  

It’s almost summa! And this year, it’s a one piece world, baby!!

#thisislifeafterforty

CHECK OUT MY ETSY SHOP GOOD TEES CO for fun and fashionable graphic tees for women:

www.goodteesco.etsy.com 

 

 

 

 

Oh No, Not Another HoCo ProPo!

Brace yourselves, parents.  By the looks of homecoming, your daughter’s wedding is going to be extremely expensive.

There is this thing going on in our town, and as I researched it I found that it’s not just our town, because there are pages and pages of it on Pinterest. And you know if there are Pinterest pages, it’s a real thing. And the funny thing is, most things on Pinterest are relatively unattainable by mere mortals, so there’s that.

Here’s what it is: there are large productions occurring all over town called “HOCO Proposals.”  It is simply when a boy asks a girl to go to HOCO with them.  

(For those without teenagers or living under a rock, HOCO is teen-short for homecoming.  You’re welcome).

By “large production” I mean, the boy better come up with a witty poster, blow up some balloons, buy some flowers, dress up like an idiot, sort of production.  

Sounds like cute teenage fun, right? Signs, balloons, candy…  But most of all…pressure.  Holy crap the pressure to do this and do this right is unreal.  And I feel really sorry for high school boys right now, because if you can’t rhyme or you aren’t creative and you don’t have markers and poster board at home, and your mom won’t take you to spend $25 on balloons, well, you are dead in the water and you just better plan on going to HOCO SOLO.

And let’s talk about the poor girls for a minute.  Because not all the girls are going to get asked.  Or proposed to. Or whatever the F this has become. Just about every girl (yes, I know there are exceptions, and here’s to you, high school girls with very high self esteem) wants a freaking sign! And it is going to be a disappointing day when this is all over and they were the one left out.  No sign.  No candy.  No balloons. And I get it’s totally acceptable for kids to go in groups with their friends, but you can’t tell me those groups (and everyone else) didn’t notice they didn’t get a freaking sign.

As if these kids don’t already have enough pressure on them to be the fastest, the smartest, the nicest, the prettiest!! .  Now there’s pressure from HOCO for crying out loud! Pressure to ask in a big way and pressure to BE asked. And I’m here to say, kids, and especially parents who push this shit, settle the F down!!

Because guess what. We are at fault.  We did this. (Well, not me. I’m innocent)  But we, as parents –uh, MOMS, did this.  We have made every goshdanged day a freaking holiday for these kids.  

First day of school? Yay! I’ll get you a cake.  

Score a goal in soccer?  Super dooper!! I’ll buy you a new outfit!!

100th day of school? Whoopie!!!  I”ll give you a hundred freaking dollars because gosh, that’s special!  

Holidays that aren’t even holidays are getting celebrated, and now our teenagers think every danged new booger they pick requires a celebration!  

And here’s what’s wrong with it.  The big things suddenly are not the big things anymore.  And the special times are no longer special because special is supposed to denote “hardly ever done”.  Like, once in a lifetime.  Like, you deserve this special moment and they don’t come along often so enjoy the hell out of it.

The Merriam Webster definition of special reads: readily distinguishable from others of the same category :unique.  

But special has become so diluted it’s like the bottle of vodka in your liquor cabinet that is no longer vodka cuz your kid drank it and filled it back up with water. “Special” is THAT diluted. And I’m all for celebration and awesome experiences, but is HOCO really that moment?? I mean, what about prom?  That’s way more specialer than HOCO.  And then there’s the REAL proposal that will come someday when they are an adult.  What are the boys going to be required to do then??

I don’t even want to think of it.  

So guess what.  Thanks to off-the-richter HOCO proposals in high school,  when it comes time for your daughter to get married she’s going to want the goddamned moon. The expectations for each occasion keep rising.  And special isn’t so special anymore, it’s just a HOCO sign.   But I guess there’s nothing wrong with that.

 I just hope you’re good with a lasso, because that moon ain’t going to be easy to catch.

 

Little Shop of Whorrors: Shopping with my Teenage Daughters

 

It’s finally warming up here in Michigan, which means my girls need new clothes.  

Being the shopping lover that I am, I should be excited about shopping with my teenage daughters.  It should be perfect mother-daughter bonding time: shop at the mall, lunch, Starbucks, talk about cute boys….dreamy.

But no.   This shopping experience is dreadful. You see, shopping for a teenage girl is like taking your daughter to the bar and saying, which drunk old pervert should we take home? Because they’re all bad choices, they’re all disgusting, and I don’t want any of it at my house or on my daughter.

If you don’t have teenagers yet, and your biggest exposure to teenage-pregnancy-in-an-outfit is the glittery shine of the store called Justice, brace yourself.  When your daughter outgrows it and moves on to places like Forever 21 or American Eagle, you will wish you could shop at Justice again, and you will wish that glitter was your biggest problem.

Here’s a little list of  six seemingly normal items that you will probably be hoodwinked into buying for your teenage daughter and wish you never had.

  1. Ripped clothes

I mean, trashed.  I can dig the current trend of “distressed” jeans…to a point. But I am over paying for the shit to look like it’s been put in a blender. Because $50 for a pair of teenage jeans that have been cut in half, shredded by a cat, and have holes in, around and on the ass, just ain’t cuttin it for me (see what I did there?)  This crap is so trashed, Goodwill won’t even take it when you’re done with it.

And yet… $50.

Serenity now.

2.  Short shorts

Excuse me, your who-ha is showing.   When you have trouble tucking in your tampon string you know there is a problem.  Too graphic?  Exactly.  

3.  Embroidery

“I love tacos” embroidered near the crotch of shorts that don’t cover the crotch is simply a sign that says…well…it says something I don’t want my daughter wearing in a place I don’t want people trying to read. Plus, my daughter doesn’t love tacos, so it’s an outright lie.  

4.  Short dresses

Sun’s out buns out.  Not in my house.

Hey darling, you forgot your pants.

5.  Cropped shirts

I get it; teenage girls are cute and thin and their stomachs haven’t stretched out yet from having kids and they don’t have the middle aged ponch or stretch marks and you could bounce a quarter off their bellies.  But you still need to put it away, because you can’t couple this type of top with shorts that are being eaten by your ass.  It simply looks like you put your clothes in the dryer four hours too long.

6.  Bikinis

I . Can’t.  Even.

Which side is even the front?

Honestly.   The options given the teenage girls today is troubling.  And I know it’s really nothing new; the styles are recycled and every generation had them (hello daisy dukes and tube tops). But our teenage girls are so incredibly sexualized as it is at such an early age.  And I’m not really sure how to handle it, because I wouldn’t put her through the bullied hell of dressing like a Mennonite (unless that’s her style). But there’s got to be some middle ground here.

So please, makers of teenage clothes, I beg of you, stop making clothes that make our girls look like trashy sluts.  Maybe just an inch more to the length of your clothes and a few less rips near the nether parts, or embroidery that says, “can’t touch this” would be an idea I could fork out some money for.

If it were up to me, I would take her to JJill and sheath her in drapey mom clothes.

But I’m pritty sure that ain’t going to happen .

#thisislifeafterforty

My Least Favorite Day of The Week: A Grocery Store Rant We Can All Relate To

There is a place on this earth that I am required to go at least once a week.  A place that holds so much dread, the mere thought of it makes me want to eat a Xanax.  I’d rather pull out my toe nails one by one with a pair of pliers than traverse this place.

But alas, my weekly visit is a necessity.  My family would literally not survive if I did not go to this place.

The place I’m talking about is the big grocery store.  You know the one: soup to nuts, grapes to pregnancy tests, bread to lipstick. They have it all;  contained in a four acre building-o-fun.

The minute I pull into the gigantic parking lot, my blood pressure spikes.  I am, of course, behind someone driving at a snail’s pace, looking for the closest parking spot available.  God forbid they park in the spot that’s wide open, and walk another 100 feet to get into the store. 

My hand lingers over my horn but I refrain.  Don’t people know I’ve got shit to do? 


As I enter the store, the greeter shouts out, “Good morning!”


Is it? I wonder.  Is it really a good morning??? I mean, I’m HERE, and not getting my nails done or something. How good could it really be?

I go to pull out a cart but end up waiting (very patiently, I might add) behind the mom who is going about settling her three kids into the Suburban XL cart; you know the one; with the full picnic bench on the end, which is what it becomes as she pulls out 7 bags of snacks and hands them to her children (Lord, I do not miss those days).  But not too quickly, after first wiping the entire thing down with a clorox wipe she digs from the depths of her purse (can’t blame her).

What feels like a full five minutes later, she finally has her kids settled and buckled and picnicking away as she turns the cart to head into the produce section. Too much momentum,  and she bangs the cart into me. Thank you.  I’m thrilled to be here too. I’m pritty sure she gave herself a hernia just trying to get headed into the right direction. Again, not missing those days. 

My turn to get a cart. 

It’s stuck.  I move over and yank on the one next to it. It’s stuck too. I start to wiggle and shake it thinking it will pop loose and before I know it, I am rattling the carts like a chimp rattling his cage, hair flapping over my red face.

“F*CK!”  I declare.  Because using the F word is like WD-40; it makes everything work better. I give it one last I-just-came-from-the-gym tug, and it comes loose. 

It has a used kleenex in the bottom of it. 

I stifle a gag and move on.  Ain’t nobody got time fo dat.

Through the aisles I go, my list meticulously written out in the order of which I will find things. I avoid all aisles with men because they don’t know what they are looking for or how to move a cart out of the center of the aisle (seriously, men; move you cart aside; it’s common sense).     

I am ripping through the store at a professional pace, feelin’ pritty dang proud of how efficient I am. I got this licked.

Until. 

I can’t find the marshmallows.  It’s the last thing on the list and I promised my kids I’d make rice crispy treats. Where in God’s name are the marshmallows??  They are always in the baking aisle, but today, of all days, they are not here.  Because since the last time I was here, the powers-that-be at this store got together and said, “how can we screw with our shoppers this week? Oh!  I know!  Let’s move the freaking marshmallows out of the baking aisle, and into the bottom shelf of the last aisle called ‘snacks’ (because that’s what marshmallows are, they are snacks now) and put them right below the boxed jello (because boxed jello is a snack too). Yeah.  That’ll really make our shoppers insane (cue evil laugh).“

I put my last item (marsh-f-ing-mallows) into my cart and wave to the invisible camera above, sure I’m being punk’d.  Found ’em, A- holes.

I head to the check out.   

Two lanes open. 

Two.  Freaking. Lanes. 

There are 25 lanes in this store but pig-be-a-princess if I’ve ever seen more than a few open at a time. Unless, of course you would like to use self-checkout,  taking three minutes per item to find the proper bar code that makes it go beep, have your eggs break at the end of the conveyor belt, and have a red light and sirens go off while you wait to have them check your ID for the 17 bottles of wine you are trying purchase.  No thanks.  I’ll wait right here in this line and read the Enquirer, because Brad and Angelina are having an alien  baby and I want to find out what sex it is. 

I can’t concentrate on my magazine.  The kid in the cart ahead of me is throwing a fit. He’s tired and hungry and probably hates this place as much as I do.  His mom is red faced and literally telling him to shut up or he won’t get to ride the mechanical horse. The checker is babbling away. 

Beep!  Blaaah blaaaah blaaah.  Beep!  Blaaaah blaaaaah blaaah. Beep!

“Oh wait.”  Says the mom.  “That’s supposed to be on sale.” 

For.  Freak.  Sake.

Because you know what that means:

Shut down the lane, call a manager, pull out the ads, look through it for the product, discuss it, override-oh wait that takes a different person, page the override manager, wait.  Wait some more.  Enter the code, new price….beep. 

I literally cannot even make a nice face anymore.  I am all eyes rolling, eyebrows scrunched (as much as they can through my botox), and mouth downturned. Hey everyone.  Look at me.  I’m mad.

The chatty checker (who has thankfully decided not to chat with me, can’t imagine why…) finally gets me through the line.  “Any coupons, bottle slips or StorePerks?”  she says smiling. 

“No.  None of that shit.  The only store perk I can think of is getting me the hell out of here as fast as possible.  That would be a perk,”  is what I WANT to say, but of course, I just mumble, “no.”

She prints out my receipt and waits.  And waits.  And waits.  While the machine spits out enough coupons to pad my cell. I have apparently hit the coupon jackpot. Yip. Eee.  I shove my winnings angrily in my purse and turn towards the door. 

Can’t get out of here fast enough.

I walk past the screaming kid who has been rewarded by riding the horse and now looks very happy. And I think: where’s the horse for the adults?  Because I could really use a happy penny ride right now too.  Or forget the horse, how bout just a wine dispenser.  Grab a 40oz cup and fill ‘er up with red or white.  Or mix them both and make it a Rose,   because you deserve it.

I walk out the sliding doors, wheel my cart out and breathe in the fresh, cool air. 

Deep breaths.  Deep breaths. 

I made it out of there without assaulting anyone.

And although I wish this story ended here, it just simply doesn’t.  I still have a few hours of work ahead, as I head home to unpack all the groceries, which also involves cleaning out the fridge and the pantry (I know, first world problems), and probably finding that my raw chicken has leaked onto my apples or that my loaf of bread has been squished under the cans of soup.   

But worstly (yeah, that’s a word), I know I have to do this all over again next week.

Now which bag are those bottles of wine in….

#thisislifeafterforty

Ten Truths About Traveling Without Children

We’ve just returned from the most amazing, relaxing and gorgeous no-kids vacation we’ve ever been on.  Four nights of Cabo, Mexico bliss, just me and the Hubs.  Coffee on the patio, endless days pool side and on the beach, and cocktails overflowing. Needless to say, re-entry has been a bitch.

We don’t get away just the two of us all that much, but we try.  And over the years of traveling sans children, we’ve learned a few things. Like to hear it? Here it goes…

Ten truths I know about traveling without my children:

1.  Delays and long layovers are NBD.

A long layover, or God forbid, a delay in flight while traveling with children makes my blood pump and skin tingle. You know the feeling. When the announcement is made, your first thought is, “oh shit”.  To have to keep kids happy, fed and entertained in an airport without losing your squash on them may be one of the biggest parenting challenges.  But a delay or long layover when traveling alone? Bring it, bitches. The airport has wine. And shopping. Delay away, my slacker airline friends, because this mama has a credit card and doesn’t have to feed anyone french fries and chicky nuggies. This is my vacation, and your delay at ORD will not kill my dream.

2.  When I’m not with mine, I have no interest in OPK (Other People’s Kids)

In fact, the little fit throwers actually kind of annoy me while traveling.  Don’t’ get me wrong, I will always have nothing but empathy for the parents traveling with kids.  Lord knows, it ain’t easy and I have been there more than I care to remember.  But when I’m traveling without mine, I like to pretend I’m just plain, well…not a mom. I am free and interesting, traveling the world cuz that’s how I roll. I’m even wearing white jeans on the plane. How cool am I? And that screaming kid is simply not my problem. Winning.    

3.  I really do like my husband.

And he likes me. Funny how we can be reminded of that when the smalls are not reminding us otherwise. A chance to be who we were when we first met and had no kids and were fun and cute and young and carefree…it kinda makes you fall in love all over again.  And let’s be honest, when we can share a cocktail together, hold hands without someone weaseling in-between us and have an actual conversation from beginning to end without being interrupted, it’s all good.

4.  The anxiety of leaving the kids never gets easier.

I don’t even think I can make this one funny because, truth. It’s almost crippling. The fear that something will happen to them or to me seems impossible to overcome.  I struggle to keep dry eyes as I kiss and hug them goodbye, my heart pounding in my chest.  And as my husband tosses me a Xanax like tossing a fish to a seal, it’s everything I can do to not jump out of the car while it’s moving and return to my pups. I know this fear and anxiety will subside the instant I sit my ass on the plane (and order my first mini bottle of Chardonnay—so cute!), but still, this fear is real in me, and the older I get the deeper it lies. It’s like that layer of stubborn belly fat; deep down but always puckered at the surface. And I just. Can’t. Get rid of it.

5.  Having people bring me drinks poolside is what my kids must feel like every damn day.

Seriously. It’s the life.  But for adults, it’s called vacation and costs a crap load of money.

6.  I am addicted to cleaning.

I can’t help it. It’s what I do. Here I am, in a great hotel with phenomenal service, no kids shit lying around, no laundry to do, no dishes to wash or vacuum to run, and by day two, I’m making the beds before housekeeping arrives. OCD? Maybe.  But my mind needs that orderliness, even on vacation.  My husband thinks I’m insane, but I guarantee in this one, I am not alone. Toss me another Xanax.

7.  My kids are not the reason I don’t go out and party.

I have spent years blaming my kids for my lack of party ability, but leave it to a vacation to show you the truth:  Here we are with the chance to be out all night and sleep in all day, and what happens?  We’re drunk by 8:30pm, run out of things to talk about by 9:00, and are yawning by 9:30.  At that point, we battle it out to see who will be the first lame-ass that says, “wanna go back to the hotel?”  And the biggest bitch of it all is, we will still wake up at 6:30am the next morning. And there’s not a kid in sight. Bastards.

8.  I like to read.

Yes. A book without pictures. A book without rhymes. A book just for me, I could read it five times. A book with some sex, perhaps Shades of Grey? No Dr. Seuss here, not on this vacay.

9.  There actually ARE enough hours in a day.

I’m not even sure how this one works.  Our daily lives are so insanely busy, there is never enough time in a day to get everything done we need to.  But on vacation!!!  The days are freaking endless! Drink, nap, swim, repeat.  It goes on and on. And you actually start looking at your watch, like, is it time for a meal yet?  Nothing to do, and no limit on time to do it.  It’s freaking glorious.

10. It’s good for your kids to miss you.

Even the most independent and attitudinal teen misses his parents just a little bit while they’re gone.  After-all, nobody does it quite like mom and dad.  Oh, so you like my meals, enjoy clean clothes, appreciate being picked up at the bus stop and want to hug me?  Huh. I need to go away more often.

#thisislifeafterforty

This Is Why Family Vacations Don’t Count

It was the long awaited ski weekend with the family and friends this weekend.

We took on skiing as a family only three years ago, after much whining and complaining on my part: “We live in MICHIGAN!  We MUST ski!!” 

Having grown up in Hawaii, I couldn’t understand why my husband, who grew up in Michigan and is incredibly athletic, didn’t ski. He blamed it on his high school basketball career: if you play basketball, he said, you don’t ski; you could hurt yourself and be out for the season.

Paprikash, I said.  That’s rediculousmont.

So three Christmas’s ago, aiming to please (he’s a good man), my husband forked out the insane amount of dough that’s required to become a “ski family” of five.  Snowboards, skis, ski boots, bindings for all,  new ski jackets, a Thule for the car roof, blah blah blah, boom.  We were a ski family. 

Jump to present day:  Our third time heading up to adorable and beautiful Crystal Mountain, MI for a short, but always fun, family vacation. I spend days shopping for food, making sure everyone has snow gear that fits, getting the skis tuned up and waxed, making arrangements for the dog, getting all the laundry done so everyone has all their choices, pulling the house together,  and packing for everyone, while my husband rushes home from work, throws three pairs of boxers and a sweatshirt in a backpack and says, “are you ready yet?” 

It’s always the same.

The fascinating part of taking the same trip to the same place at about the same time every year is that despite the fact that it’s all the same, it’s always different.  The kids are a whole year older making the entire venture a complete crap shoot.  Who will be the ones that can’t get along (hint: all of them)?  Who will be ok with sleeping on the floor in a “nest” this year (hint: no one)? Who will want to go skiing by themselves and ditch the parents (hint: everyone)?

We arrive at our little ski cottage and begin to get ready to hit the slopes.  It begins:

My gloves are too small.

–Too bad.

Which helmet is mine?

–Just pick one.

Do I have to wear socks?

—   I’m not even answering that.

Where is my ski jacket?

SCREEEEEEECH!!  Pull the needle from the record!  YOU DON’T HAVE YOUR JACKET?  You mean, you showed up to the ski weekend without your jacket?? 

ARE YOU FREAKING KIDDING ME??? (is what I want to squeal, but refrain) 

Deep breaths. 

Seriously.  Take deep breaths.

I happened to have packed an extra jacket (yep, I’m that good), and we manage to avoid a complete losing of the squash. Except now she’s wearing my ski jacket and I’m looking ridiculous skiing in my stylish, not sporty,  puffer jacket.  But alas, we sacrifice for our children.

Little did I know, the worst was yet to come, and a forgotten ski jacket was going to end up mattering about as much as a pin hole in my distressed jeans.

The evening is enjoyable and once the kids get their ski legs under them, we let them go off on their own in a group. Complete and utter freedom. The adults gather, kick back, eat hors d’oeuvres, and cocktail it up.   This independent teenager thing does have it’s perks. It’s a beautiful thing.

Day two.  Wake with headache.  Shit, I’m too old for this.  Eat some advil and get the family on the mountain.  Kids are having a blast and it’s time to go back to the cottage to prepare lunch.  Looking forward to the hair of the dog.  As I pull out the vodka and begin salivating, my phone rings.  It’s my 14 year old.

“Mom,” she says, with an annoyance in her voice as detectable as a silent fart, “can you come get [12 year old sister]?  She hurt her finger. She’s just being dramatic.  I’m sure she’s fine.” 

I set down the vodka (I’ll be back, my love) and head to the base of the mountain, only to find that “come get her” meant “come get her off the ski slope because she took a gnarly spill, is crying her head off, and won’t come down.” I’m sure that’s what my 14 year old meant to say when she called me… Luckily, our friend was there to escort her down, my 12 year old daughter’s hand stretched out awkwardly from her arm, gloves dangling. I walk up to her tear stained, white-as-a-sheet face, take one look at her hand and know: this isn’t good.

I turn to my husband who looks like a cartoon character, red faced and steam coming out of his ears.  You see, this 12 year old girl of ours is, yep, you guessed it, a basketball player. And her middle school season that she has trained so hard for, is just about to begin. I whisk her off to first aid knowing that I better get her out of there before Yosemite Sam pulls his guns. All the reasons he never wanted to be a ski family are slapping me across the face like a backhanded compliment at this moment.  Shit shit shit.

We wander into the ski patrol first aid department where they literally whittle her a splint and sling out of a rolled up magazine, some egg crate, some duct tape and a ripped up sheet (not exaggerating). They send us 25 minutes further north to a hospital that might or might not have all the letters of its name hanging from the building; not feeling super confident about the level of care coming our way.  As we walk through the automatic sliding doors, I feel like we just entered a scene from Zootopia.  You know the scene with the sloughs at the DMV?  Yeah, that one.  As the slough doctor, I mean, provider, asks her what happened, she says, “I was skiing down the hill and I think I tripped on a piece of snow.”  This answer from a 12 year old didn’t phase Dr. Slough, after all it is Northern Michigan, but all I could think of was, you better be able to repeat this implausible story so they don’t call CPS on me. Because tripping on a piece of snow (while skiing) kind of sounds questionable.

Several exhausting hours later, we have a diagnosis of two fractured phalanges (medical word for fingers and so fun to say) at the base knuckle where the fingers, I mean phalanges, meet the hand.  She was fitted with a bona fide fiberglass splint, (without duct tape), and we head back to the ski resort to catch up with the rest of the family and friends and salvage what was left of our ski vacation.

This is the result:  No more skiing for the weekend.   The start of her middle school basketball season done before it began.  I have a husband who won’t stop stewing, I relaxed a total of three hours in three days on this so called vacation, and my ski weekend was cut short as I suddenly became babysitter of the injured. And as much as we wholly realize that things could have been a lot worse, I think we all can agree that this entire day was a complete shit show.

We’re home now, and I’m exhausted.  I need to unpack, do laundry and get groceries, make doctors appointments for the week, but I just don’t have the energy. This is why family vacations don’t count.  They are fun, wonderful bonding times with your people, but let’s be honest, they don’t count as vacations for anyone but the kids.  We’ll have plenty of “remember the time when…” stories, but vacation? No.  From now on, let’s more precisely refer to them simply as family trips.  Cuz, holy shit, this was a trip.

So for now I will sit my ass on the couch with a glass of wine in front of the fire and regroup.  Tomorrow I need to start packing again.  Because in a few days, I’m getting a real vacation someplace warm, just my hubby and me.   Where my kids, God love ‘em, won’t be forgetting essential shit, breaking bones, and generally screwing things up. I will go away for 4 blissful nights, reconnect with my husband, sit pool side and have people bring me drinks.  And I will finally have a chance to miss the hell out of my kids and long to come home.   And THAT, is what we call a vacation.

  

*In all fairness, the hospital in Northern Michigan did good by us and the care was excellent and the people were kind.  Speedy, no.  But kind, yes. Thank you to the staff, nurses and Provider that got us taken care of. Also, thank you to the caring (and ingenious) ski patrol at Crystal Mountain who were so gentle and concerned for my girl.