Thursday, June 3, 2010

Summer Begin... please?

Now that summer is upon us, I will finally open my mouth and unclench my teeth. With regards to the religious school Julianne was attending, the majority of the year has been excruciating. (Long story short - bully from rich family alienates Juli (and others repeatedly), school pauses to determine consequences of punishing bully (and the potential of losing donations from rich family during their church building campaign), school determines it is best for the big picture to allow bullying to continue, parents of victim child (and several other victim parents) push the issue - this angers admin. and admin behaves in ways to alienate victimized families. Victim families give up seeing that a small number of people cannot conquer corruption. Victim families go away and school is able to go on and possibly repeat behavior (though it won't happen to those who have left (like us) because we are LONG GONE!) Now I know that this sounds like it's my own simple perspective. It's actually not. A church worker observed the year in its entirety. In the beginning, this person said "Oh hush... it's not about money!" Then returned a few weeks later and said "Holy cow.. not in a million years would I have thought... but you're right. It's totally about money!" It's just such a bummer. I always knew that people attend church because they're sinners and we're looking for redemption and a better way. It's just shocking when sinful behavior is justified in a place where one is supposed to find haven, guidance, or a better way. It's especially confusing for children when the ones they look to for guidance are adorned in religious costume - like a habit or a clerical collar. Discussion has remained open. My daughter has struggled with her faith in the Catholic Church after all of this... especially after my husband was accused of being abusive to us. (Smirking-- can't help it because it's amusing. Anyone who takes the time to get to know the head of our household would know that he's nothing but a loving teddy bear. He may be direct and fail to understand how to play social games, but he's the most loving and faithful man a girl could marry.)
So this brings me to my point. After a year of hypocrisy and misadventures within the church, it was time to seek God outside of brick and mortar. Seek him in the majestic beauty of his hands... so we found him in the Church of the Holy Waves and Warm Sand. We went to the beach.

It was funny how we arrived. We'd just come from lunch out with Granny Chick.

Somehow Georgetown and Round Rock aren't speaking to our souls anymore. The comforting feeling of home isn't in the town of our residence. Let me clarify - this is environmental distress. Not about the folks because there are so MANY that we love and cherish in these towns. But our heart as a family/ household isn't feeling it here anymore. As we were driving closer and closer to the dreaded destination of Round Rock, I blurted out "Wouldn't it just be great if we could just keep driving 35, and not stop until we reached the sand. I absolutely need to put my feet in sand and breathe a salty air." Kevin was very quiet for a few moments until I heard him mutter "Let's just do it. Let's grab our suits and flip-flops and just go. We need this." So we did. One of the beautiful things about Round Rock is our neighbors. We can call them on the road and know they'll have our back when it comes to feeding our canines. Neighbors like this aren't frequent and easily made. We're blessed in that we have several. (Thank you, LORD!)
We arrived at the Sea and Sands Cottages and the 1950's vibrant orange-popsicle-colored kit house cottage was vacant, so it became our new abode for three wonderful days. After playing on the beach, we boiled shrimp in Old Bay and enjoyed mommy-daddy time on the back porch swing smoking stogies and drinking pineapple rum.

I'm saying wonderful despite the many attacks of mosquitoes. I'm saying wonderful despite the angry sunburn adorning my back. I'm saying wonderful despite the lack of definable sleep given that our kitchy little headboard was actually a early model Kenmore window a/c unit that thundered and roared above our heads. I'm saying wonderful despite the fact my husband and I down-graded from our usual king-sized Sleep Number Bed to a queen-sized-stained-springs-poking-you-in-every-possible-way-and-possibly-in-some-ways-one-might-find-enjoyable-if-they-were-into-that-sort-of-masochism bed with the baby and her plastic safety nest in between us. Yes, we had no sleep and our bodies are certainly worse for the wear, but the beauty in this is that we were NOT IN GEORGETOWN/ROUND ROCK. And honestly... there is a simple sort of therapy in salty air, sand in your crack, and sunshine. Three glorious days that also held a first for Gianna and I. Her first ferry ride, her first beach trip, her first sun-tan (calm down... this is despite the 55 SPF lathered on her every hour on the hour), and her first successful feeding of fruit... not to mention my first time to order snapper, and to taste the amber jack on my husbands plate and find myself salivating and digging in until the plate was just a memory of a once delectable masterpiece by the folks of the Trout Street Grill in Port A.
I could write about how the kids still fought frequently, Julianne's dramatic episodes, or Hunter's whiny fits. I could write about my hormones surging and the amount of suppression it took to keep them hidden from the family. I could write about the thyroid-related heat intolerance, or the way I feel when I look in the mirror and see the massive bosom I now carry and the way that feels on my traumatized spine. But the truth is... happiness is about smiling through the junk. The junk is always going to be there. You can't plan away every mosquito, mattress coil, or upsetting piece of corruption in an inappropriate place. Sometimes the main ingredient (and the biggest challenge) is smiling in spite of everything. And the end result is the happy memory and somehow finding you enjoyed yourself for the most part. And I'm more than okay with that.