Paradise and Parenting: Last Week of Vacation

So I’ve been back to work this week, part time anyway. Most people don’t realize what it takes to prepare for a new school year, but one thing I can tell you right off is that it takes loads and loads of time and preparation. I’m the Early Childhood Coordinator, so I need to make sure that the classrooms are warm and welcoming and not staffed by people still grieving their summer vacations. Again, this takes time and a slow ease back into the responsibility of putting on pants that aren’t the ones you just slept in.

But I’ve still had some leisure time and, quite frankly, I feel pretty good this week. This is because, while it’s really really hot, it’s even hotter in Manitoba right now. I’m sorry that that makes me feel good, but you need to understand that usually, my brother is gloating about what a great summer he’s having. He likes to post pictures of how much he enjoys sitting on his deck in his shorts and t-shirt, drinking his coffee in the brisk, fifteen-degree morning air, while I wipe the sweat out of my eyes in order to see my phone screen.

This year he sent me a disgruntled photo of his dashboard temperature reading. It read thirty-nine mind-bending degrees. I took a screen-shot of my weather app reading, which stated that it was raining and twenty-nine degrees in lovely Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.

Now, the actual truth is that it my weather app always says it’s raining in PV because the humidity is seventy-five percent. No computer program can come to terms with a sunny day and seventy-five percent humidity. Most real people can’t come to terms with it.

But I wasn’t about to tell him that, because he actually admitted that his circumstances were slightly less agreeable than mine. I’m pretty sure that hasn’t happened since I was ten and he finally admitted that my hot fudge sundae was far superior to his strawberry one.

The other positive moments in my week were our very interesting trips to the beach. What you need to know about our family during the summer months is that a) we love the beach b) except after 10 am and before 8 pm. We are open to taking a walk when we first get up (if we get up that day) and then perhaps to see the sunset in the evening.

On Thursday, my husband and I decided to take an early morning walk with the dogs near Boca de Tomates. While passing a small swampy area we happened upon an interesting set of footprints. My husband placed his foot inside one of the prints and found it to be larger than his foot. In the middle of the prints was a fascinatingly wavy line, as though the large-footed creature was holding a stick between his legs. Or, perhaps, waving his tail as he lumbered along.

We thought it was maybe a snake and a large dog spending quality time together (we have clearly had some trouble navigating the hard puzzles of life in our time as husband and wife), but then another man walking the beach called out “cocodrilo!!!”, pointing at a large, log-like object out in the waves that was decidedly un-log-like in its level of animation.

We love our little dogs and we know that they look pretty delicious to your every day predator, so we took a quicker route back to our car.

The other great moment on the beach took place as the sun set, along with about twenty other community members and a great staff member from the Campamento Tortuguero Boca de Tomates. I urge you to attend one of these releases. If you look up their Facebook page, it will usually announce if there is a release in the evening.

There is a fantastic explanation of this amazing work, a little time observing all the little baby turtles in all their squirmy reptilian glory. Then you get to hold your own in a little bowl, give him a name and some words of encouragement (I sang An Irish Blessing, and I believe Lorenzo was truly touched), and then you get to watch them churn those little flippers all the way to the ocean.

By the way, your teens are way too cool for this activity and won’t want to go. But you need to make them because they are going to love it. Who wouldn’t love naming a sea turtle and watching them race?

It’s been a hot, eventful week for our family. Next week we’ll all get back to classes and into non-pajama pants again. It was fun while it lasted.