Fred the iguana
1. Banana Malibu Coladas are just as yummy as they sound.
1.a And they make for a sort of awesome picture.
2. Men make assumptions about women of a certain age (as in my certain age) who are sitting at a bar at a Caribbean resort with a girlfriend.
2.a Men who make assumptions about women of a certain age who are sitting at a bar at a Caribbean resort with a girlfriend tend to be sorely disappointed when said assumptions are way, way … um .. WAY off the mark.
2.b My husband is kinda awesome.
3. It’s really nice to read a book that has absolutely, positively nothing to do with autism.
3.a Books that end with the words “To be Continued …” should come with a warning label. Cause that’s crap.
3.b So I will now be buying this in March.
3. c And wondering when on earth I’m going to actually read it.
3.d. And fantasizing about taking another trip just so I can.
4. I will miss my kids. A lot.
4. a They will be OK.
4.b Face Time is the best invention ever. Not counting Hot Stone Massages.
4.c It’s sorta hilarious when I’m on Face Time with Katie and I ask her what time she got to bed at her sleep over the night before and she says, “What, Mama? I think we have a bad connection,” and I can see her just sitting there so she lies down on the floor to hide from the phone and starts giggling.
4.d. Ten is an awesome age.
5. Hot Stone Massages are better than Face Time.
6. I need to take care of my body.
6.a. When my friend, a fellow autism mom who has three kids and is in fantastic shape says to me over dinner one night, “Well, we have to live forever right? So I eat well and I work out because I just can’t understand why I’d allow myself health issues that are preventable with diet and exercise,” it will sound so damn unbelievably simple and make so much sense that no matter how many times I’ve heard it or read it or even said it before, something in the universe will shift and for the first time in my life, I will truly take it in and absorb it.
6.b. I will look at food – and everything – differently from that moment on.
6.c. I will be immeasurably grateful to her for saying those words out loud.
7. The world will not pause because I’m away.
7.a. I may come back to a mountain of crap that I have to deal with.
7.b. Mountains of crap are a lot easier to deal with when I can close my eyes and remember what it felt like to have a Hot Stone Massage.
8. My husband is kind of awesome.
8.a. Yes, it’s a repeat.
8.b. Without him, this never would have been possible.
9. My family can function without me.
9. a. That’s a good thing.
10. Even after two days away from home, I will still not be more interesting to Brooke when I walk through the door than Blue’s Clues.
10.a. That’s not really true, even if that’s the way it appears.
11. When Katie comes running through the door moments later, she will make me feel like a soldier returning from a year’s deployment.
11.a. Welcome home sign and all.
11.b. She will have gotten me presents.
11.c. When she hands one of them to me, I will be a little taken aback and momentarily wonder what the heck Luau did.
11.d. It will all make sense when she then says, “I wasn’t sure if it was a real diamond or not, but then I remembered I was in Claire’s and so I figured it wasn’t, but I still thought it might be really expensive – ya know, like twenty bucks, and then I found out it was $5.50 and I could afford it and I totally had to get it for you cause it’s a heart! But I’m pretty sure it’s not really a diamond.”
11.e. And then I will melt in a lump and tell her that it’s the most fabulous ring I’ve ever seen and then she will look at Luau and say, “Daddy, you could have saved a lot of money on Mama’s engagement ring. Just sayin’.”
11.f. Ten is an awesome age.
12. I will be a better mom for doing this.
12.a. This doesn’t have to mean a trip to Puerto Rico.
12.b. This can be as simple as taking a walk, reading that book when it comes, taking a bath.
12.c. Doing this is what fills our tanks for the journey.
12.d. And since we have to live forever, those tanks better be full.
13. I will be really, really glad I went.
Thank you, Jersey, for making this happen, and thank you, Luau for making it possible. I love you both.
Ed Note: For more on The Year of the Oxygen Mask, check out O2, The Oxygen Mask Project - To care for others, you have to take care of yourself as well.