My kids were off from school this entire week because of a little known Jewish holiday called Shavuot, which roughly translates into “a three-day weekend isn’t enough; let’s just take off the whole week before Memorial Day instead.” Which is great if you’re an old rabbi, but less great if you’re a working mom. I resigned myself to the fact that I would get nothing done this week, and then I scheduled the hell out of my kids. On Wednesday, I even got my husband to take off from work and go to Disneyland with us and two other families from my daughter’s preschool class. One of the perks of living in Southern California is that you can go to Disneyland whenever you feel like it, although I have to say, it may be called the happiest place on earth, but I never saw a more miserable bunch of parents in my life. Everywhere I turned, moms were snapping at their kids, dads were screaming, and grandparents were developing new wrinkles as I watched. But barring meltdowns at both lunch and dinner (Harper: I don’t liiiike this macarooooniiiiii. It’s yuuuucky. Davis: I no want penne! I gonna’ throw it down!), we had a lot of fun. It was Davis’ first time, and there’s really nothing better than watching a Disneyland virgin go through It’s A Small World. His little mouth was hanging open, and he was silent through the whole thing, taking it in, trying to understand what the hell was going on. When it was over, I was starting to think that maybe he hadn’t really gotten it, but then, just as we were getting off the boat, he flashed me a huge smile and said, I wanna go again, mama. And it is that moment when – for all of its overpriced merchandising tie-ins, for all of the forty-minute lines for two-minute rides, and for all of the jockeying to find the princesses at their designated times and places just so that your daughter can then become shy and not want to say hello to Jasmine after you just waited for half an hour to meet her – you realize that Disneyland really is a magical place when you have little kids.
But on to bigger and better things: now that I need a vacation from my kids’ school vacation, in a stroke of sheer luck/coincidence/genius-if-only-I’d-realized-what-I-was-doing-at-the-time, Michael and I just happen to be going to Mexico next week for our first kid-free vacation in three years. Yes, you read that correctly, three years. When I planned this little get away, I had absolutely no idea that school would be closed the whole week prior, and even if I had known, it would not have occurred to me that I might require significant time away from my children, which – after four days of playdates and park outings and various other activities, not to mention twelve straight hours at Disneyland – I do. It’s so close that I can taste it; there’s even a part of me that doesn’t want next week to come, just because then it will be over, and I think that just imagining how delicious those four days are going to be might be nearly as much fun as actually being there. But who are we kidding, I want next week to come, and when it does, I plan to sit on my ass and do absolutely nothing except sleep and eat and read and have sex with my husband without a baby monitor on in the background. I mean, really, does it get more delicious than that??? But then I get the reality check, which is that those four days are going to have to last me a really long time, because once we get back, there’s only two weeks until my kids are off for the whole summer. [Insert big sigh here].