When we arrived in Caticlan and took the ferry across to Boracay we counted at least 10 parachutes in the sky, chasing the boats they were attached to. The boys immediately started begging me to go parasailing. We checked it out and discovered that they were both old enough and heavy enough to do it. Perfect.
And secretly, I had a scandalous thought. Once the boys were way up in the sky, I should cut the rope. Yes…cut - the - rope. Then gun the boat for the mainland as quickly as possible. Them headed in one direction, me in the exact opposite. It would be amazing. Wind in my hair, the sense of freedom and exhilaration that would come over me. How exciting!
For like, 7 seconds.
And then dread. Pure dread.
Ugh…parenting. The struggle is real.
I’ve found myself more often than not lately, whispering, "For f*ck sakes..." just before responding to Max’s “Da-ddeeee?” or Sully’s “JAYYYY??”. And I’m ok admitting that. I knew what I was getting myself into when I planned this. But holy hell, can’t they just see I’m lying by the pool or the ocean with a book (Shantarum! Love it. Thanks, a.) in my face and an imaginary do not disturb sign hanging around my neck??
No. No they can’t.
They only care about the issues impacting their immediate world. And I’m the ultimate judge & jury. Whether Superman or Batman would win a fight. Why can’t everything be solar powered? Wondering what it’s like to be kissed by a vampire. If a lawyer becomes a politician, can they go back to being a lawyer? Wondering if I’ve ever eaten a dragon (what??). If ocean levels rise because of climate change, will that cause wars? Where will everyone go...especially on some of the islands we've been on? What Harry Potter spell is my favourite? And then when I don’t pronounce it correctly, being told that if I’m going to read HP, I need to get it right. I just want to escape into 5 uninterrupted pages of a book.
5. That’s it. That’s all.
Travelling together and being around each other 24 hours a day, 7 days a week definitely has its challenges. No doubt. There are days when I would like nothing more than to disappear and let the boys fend for themselves. (But then be a fly on the wall and watch it all go down!! Wouldn't that be amazing??!) My friend Jen lovingly refers to it as 'taking the garbage to the road and then just keep on walking'. It can be the toughest job in the world. But it's also the most rewarding. And on the days where I see them find a spot, settle in and escape into their own world of adventure and imagination, those are some of the best. I've been extremely lucky to watch them grow and explore and with their eyes wide open, see them embrace this great big world as their own, learning from the many different, difficult and amazing situations we've found ourselves in. We've all become each others best friends. And as we get older, at any point in our lives, I think the 3 of us will be able to look back on this year as a point of reference and know we'll be able to count on or depend upon each other for pretty much anything.
But. Like I told them yesterday...10 minutes with no questions. Sometimes that's all I really want.
Today was one of those classic parenting days. A balancing act between frustration and amazement and taking deep breaths and wonderment. All the while, trying to hold it together until bed when their eyes closed and their breathing slowed and I could crash. (not that I was holding a pillow over their faces waiting for that…).
Watching them parasail was pure joy. I mean, COME ON, look at their faces. They went from over-confident, to excited to a bundle of nerves as we got closer to the moment. It was hilarious to watch. Both of them trying to psyche each other up, but also not being afraid to say they were afraid. I loved it. Them. The screams and kicks and smiles as they took off made me laugh out loud. In that moment I had forgotten all about the rope. As parents do. Always. The stories and energy they had when they returned to the boat? Incredible. I wanted to bottle it up. Keep it for when I’m older and they’re gone. Then open it back up again to drink it all down.
I didn’t cut the rope. Today.