Memories of a family vacation



My first thought as I walked into my house after spending nearly two weeks in a clutter-free, perfectly decorated home was the adult name for the contents of diapers. So, today, instead of focusing on that or folding anymore clothes, calling the carpet cleaner to clean Josie’s morning deuce, or allowing the scale to judge my 4-6 daily desserts, I’m going to remember the night I sipped wine by the beach with Ahi Tuna. My made for mom dream dinner was only moderately interrupted by one throw of fancy mac and cheese, and the request from the waiter to “please ask your daughter to take the fish bait out of her mouth so she doesn’t choke.” As if Josie’s insistent to carry and chew on bait at every waking moment of the trip could even remotely interrupt my beach view focus.



Dear James,

You and “cation” fit together well, and your new skin color proves it. I’m sorry you are so confused by “(your) bum being so white!!!” You learned how to swim, only mildly choking on water a few times, and even though most of the time you put in your best effort to drown your sister, that one time you actually saved her by pulling her out of the water by her hair was really helpful even if her 45 minutes of post-drowning crying indicated ingratitude for your life saving efforts.

You caught fish and you mastered the belly flop. You think boats are awesome, and you insisted on wearing the exact same outfit every single time you rode it which makes me really look forward to school uniforms. You slept in a king size bed like the royalty you believe you are. You taught your sister’s how to have a farting contest, and even though you lost it, your laughter was most certainly the best.

At Mass, you saw a picture of the Pope and said, “Who is that man?” As I explained the role of the pope, you said, “Oh I know, it’s the God Police, that’s why he is called the Poe-poe.”


Dear Josie,

Your confidence in the water is phenomenal, until you forget that you cannot swim in the deep end, or in the shallow end once your head is beneath the water, and once you forget about your hair, you should probably thank your brother for saving your life.

You and airplane rides struggle. Sitting for any longer than 2 minutes is for losers, just like holding hands. Not even the stewardess could scare you, and airplane seatbelts bluff was most certainly called.

I’ve never seen a waiter more confused than when you pulled that fish bait out of your mouth that you had been storing for hours, most likely.

You think seaweed is for throwing, just like sand, and sometimes poop, too. Docks are most certainly for jumping. 

You woke up every day in between 515 and 615, and one day at 230. Lack of sleep did not make you tired, but only hungrier. 

You broke into the sacristy during church when your baby sister decided to empty 3 days contents into her diaper. You defended yourself with “just lookin, mama! Welax!”

You also stole an old woman’s cane. After she balanced herself using the wall, she found it amusing, unlike your mother who was mortified.


Dear Rita,

You next to your brother look like Ebony and Ivory.

We took you to Florida as a baby. You returned a toddler monster. There is a particular scream that has been acquired in your non-word lexicon. It’s piercing, but hilarious. And you know I think its funny, even when I discipline you, which makes you do it louder, and I’m really bad at discipline. Stairs are another issue, and apparently your skull is thick in both the figurative and literal sense. 

You got two teeth and only woke me up to tell me about them 457 times.

Sand is probably your new favorite food next to Jellybeans.

You, like your sister, believe in your ability to swim more than the ability calls for. 

James can make you fart on demand. I’ve never seen a baby do that before. 


Dear Jim,

Can we please move to Florida? Also, I’m sorry you got the flu. 

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