First off, remember the Cave'o'Danger? Wait, we thought it was going to be the Cave'o'Fun & Baptisms, but then people started getting stung and I saw what I think was a little sea snake, so we moved on out to the blazing sun, dodging spiny black sea urchins along the way. I played it cool with Eva, pretending like I wasn't too concerned about their hundreds of thousands of venomous black spines and how they could just slip right through her flimsy water shoes. Well anyway, she and I escaped unscathed, unless you count my run-in with the venom of the sun. But the last couple of days I've been seeing some of the kids who got stung in the cave, and some of their legs are covered in scabby healing blisters because the thing that got them was a lion fish! This was confirmed by a doctor. Thanks but no thanks, Okinawa.
So, on to my first world problems. I've been meaning for like forever to write about travelling with a toddler, because although it's been pretty well covered in the blogosphere I think that's one of those things that it's useful to get some different perspectives on before you attempt it. Instead, I'm just going to gripe about my pre-trip jitters.
Last week it was decided that we were flying to Hawaii for 10 days. Leaving in one week. I know that because I've said the H-word you're going to laugh me off, but actually it wasn't the easiest decision to say that yes, we definitely want to spend our last big vacation before leaving Okinawa on going to a different remote warm Pacific island than the one we currently inhabit, with the Pater Familias working almost the whole time, travelling for at least 16 hours with an increasingly un-potty-trained child. Especially with me pregnant and marthritic (read: chubby, sluggish, and swollen) and, with a mile between our hotels, unable to efficiently stalk Chelle Girl. She is a very game travel buddy* & she'll be there in the same boat, but because we made reservations at the last minute our hotel is a mile away from hers**. Would you believe it? It's kind of difficult to get hotel reservations at a government rate in Waikiki in July during two massive military shindigs.
Anyhow, I found myself not asking but telling my work that I won't be there for the next two weeks, so the chapel will be left with DVD music and I will be travelling with a small carry-on of guilt [for depriving them of my unmissable, genius-level musical talents].
And cancelling important appointments (read: my cleaning lady), Eva's summer camp, ensuring my constant stream of doctor's appointments won't be affected, and RSVPing no to Eva's friends' birthday parties.
And we've been scrambling to get the dog groomed, clean the fish bowl, arrange dog and fish sitters, and do all laundry. The Pater Familias is fighting with United over Skype because I have passports in both my maiden & married names and unless he fights, these many thousands of miles I'm about to accumulate will just disappear into the cold void of space also known as the Great Customer Service Vacuum (and when you're slightly tall-ish and have knees that aren't very bendy, those Economy Plus upgrades can be the difference between public airplane tears or not on long flights).
And these are all sort of normal-life activities, but when I have a deadline I freak out a little bit.
And right before we go we'll need to typhoon proof the house, clean the fridge, drop off the dog (not forgetting his food this time), and beat the tempermental iPad into submission so it will contain the promised movies (such as "Da Move-it Move-it", AKA Madagascar 2).
And of course I just had to arrange a last-minute playdate with Eva's oldest friend here, one of the ones we moved away from and I've been feeling guilty about it because we never see her anymore. One more small thing that was absolutely necessary to slap on the old plate.
Then there's the subtle, back-of-the-mind pressure to leave the house clean or at least not completely tornadoed. I gave up on this long ago, but the shadow of it still stresses me before every trip.
And did I mention that I absolutely hate making decisions? This one managed to involve large amounts of money, time Eva spent or didn't get to spend with Daddy, health concerns, which-non-Oahu-island-will-we-choose-as-our-one-and-only-one-to-visit, and the much-dreaded last-minute factor. I frequently wish I could be swept backward into the safe cocoon of infanthood. All of that is how I found myself weeping copiously, tears pregnant with pregnancy, in the hallway of a building of bureaucratic offices on post, where Eva and I have to go with all of our documenti to get a certain stamp to be allowed to leave and get back into Japan. I don't really wanna be a grownup. And I usually prefer to have my breakdowns in private, especially now that Eva asks what's wrong with my face.
All of these things that I'm dealing with are the trappings of my [overly] comfortable life. Straight-up blessings. Except the fish, but no, husband, you may not dispatch him to silence my complaining. And stepping back it's kind of ludicrous to complain about any of it, but if I weren't ludicrous I wouldn't be me now, would I?
Allora, decisions are made, nonrefundable plane tickets are purchased, frequent flyer miles are spent on car rental, Kauai is officially The Other Island We Shall Visit, and we're mostly set except for that vague feeling I'm left with that I should have called my mom to ask permission.
*To quote the GNG: Are you seriouslying me? I never blogged about going to Hong Kong. I just can't take the pressure of travel blogging, I guess. I did post this picture and, my favorite, this picture from the trip. But here's one more, with Chelle Girl--that's Eva's special name for her--in honor of our upcoming Hawaii-trip-crashing:
Also, I had to use an old picture in this post because my computer is broken and I can't import any pictures, and I feel partially dressed with no picture.
**No longer. We're splitting our time between three different hotels in order to more efficently stalk her.