Back when we were partaking in the Great Martell Atlanta Family Adventure, you know, way back when I lived with the kidlets in Atlanta for an entire year and their daddy came to visit for two weeks of every month, an interesting phenomenonÂ occurredÂ each time he’d come back to us. For the first few days, it would be ALL DADDY ALL THE TIME. The kids wanted nothing to do with me, and wanted to jump and leap and hug the guts out of their daddy. They enjoyed the snuggles and the cuddles. They loved setting all the rules I had places free and enjoying the non-discipline Daddy would bring back into town. And then, about three days in, the tide would turn, and the kids would remember that he would be abandoning them again soon, and they began to punish him. This was likely both a subconscious and a deliberate punishment.
On Friday morning, I got off of a plane to spend four jam-packed, fun-filled days in PEI with my kids, with a schedule filled with culinary boot camps and clam digging and ice cream factory tours and lobster fishing and learning to make chocolate.
Interestingly, it took me approximately 3.8 minutes from the time I got off of the ferry on PEI to realize that I never wanted to leave. I wanted to scoop up a $158.000 home like this one
with character and history and four bedrooms and so much land (oh my lordy the land) and give up the city life for this slower-paced little slice of heaven. I had visions of sitting on my front porch taking photos and writing while my husband cooked fresh food made exclusively from our garden, waving to all the locals as they passed by. By day two, I was ready to call real estate agents. And this is saying a lot, considering there is not anthropologie on the entire island. Hell, there’s not even a Gap. The most exciting things to do are play bingo at the local legions and the occasional night of bowling. But it’s paradise, I tell you. I didn’t want to leave.
(I don’t want to leave.)
I wanted to scoop up my bunnies and take up completely off the grid and do this.
The kids had been on the road with their daddy for 11 days, and I think they were missing me as much as I was missing them. When I got off the plane each kid wanted to tell me every single funny, silly, crazy story. I got to hear about every bathroom break, every mosquito bite, and every new food they had tried. They were so excited to have me around.
And then something happened.
The kids who had been unbelievably well-behaved for food tours and while eating in fancyÂ restaurantsÂ and while sitting for extended hours in the car started to punish me. They yelled and screamed and were embarrassing in public. My husband kept shaking his head in wonder, “They haven’t done this a single time in the last week and a half. They are saving all of this for you.” At first it was funny, and then when I started to realize what they were doing, I started to cry.
They were punishing me.
Because I was leaving.
The same way they had when their daddy used to leave them in Atlanta.
I can’t help but wonder if this behavior is not just indicative of this vacation, and, in fact, some sort of metaphor for our real lives at home. Are they unhappy that I work? Do they wish I was around more often to run a tighter ship and to be there more often? Am I doing them a disservice by abandoning them on a daily basis and not driving them to school or picking them up from school and making them take the *gasp* school bus every day?
Or am I just being too sensitive? Am I reading too much into this? Are they just being kids who are overexcited that Mommy came to join them on their trip of a lifetime? Or do I need to go ahead and buy that house? ($158,000!!!)
(Keep in mind that there has been very little sleep at the Great George Hotel.)