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A Lesson In Being Carefree

I just got back from a week-long family vacation to Waikiki. This was a big deal for us. An amazing opportunity came up and I was finally able to take my kids on their first vacation. My daughter was nervous about the flight and my son couldn’t wait. My son got flagged for a random secondary inspection at security and it was a bumpy ride there but everyone arrived safely and in good spirits.

Being their first trip, we didn’t go too crazy and kept things chill and aside from one big planned excursion, we let the days unfold as they would. It was relaxing and wonderful spending that week with our only responsibilities being catching shuttles on time and making sure everyone was fed. We tried new foods and did new things. We fell asleep listening to the rhythm of the ocean waves and the live Hawaiian music wafting up from the restaurant 22 floors below. My son and I even got our souvenir sunburns…all good though, can’t complain much when it happens while playing on Waikiki Beach.

Life was good.

Waikiki Beach from Rainbow Tower, Hilton Hawaiian Village. Image copyrighted. Please email or leave a message in comments for permissions and full sized image.

When it was time to go home we got to the airport and dropped our bags and headed for the security line. We found the line and then started walking….and walking….and walking some more. We walked longer than it took to check in 4 bags and get boarding passes. It was all good, we were all still glowing and in good spirits from our week at the beach. We finally made it to the end of the line and then waited….and walked…and waited…and walked (you get the idea). It was all good though, we were still feeling good. After a very long time, we made it through security and despite checking in when the counter opened 3 hours before flight, we barely had enough time to sit and have lunch, find our gate and have a few to chill before boarding. All good though, we just spent a week in paradise.

The flight home was uneventful and I sat next to a lovely lady who offered to hold her daughter and I down so we didn’t try and escape and go back to the beach…or fake a heart attack to create a diversion so we could. She was pretty flexible. We landed, got through customs, grabbed a shuttle and got to our parking lot in under an hour…impressive! Then we hit a snag. Our car keys weren’t in the key locker….why weren’t our keys in the key locker? Apparently there was a miscommunication in the booking and they thought we weren’t arriving for another day. They promptly left to go retrieve our car while we waited in the waiting area. We chilled and thought about the great trip we just had and waited. Life was okay…the car would get here and we would have a little time to relax and reminisce.

We finally made it home and since I told their teachers they wouldn’t be at school that day due to arriving late, I just let the kids wind down and head to bed in their own time. No worries. I finally made it to bed and got some sleep but not too much as I wanted to get back to our time schedule. I woke up happy and glowing from our trip. Then jetlag hit. Hard. I’ve been on other trips and have managed to avoid getting jetlagged. Not this time! I dragged myself around for the rest of the day in a complete fog of exhaustion. I was barely functional. I reminded myself of the fantastic trip, unpacked my treasures and started laundry thankful for the fact I did something to actually warrant jetlag. Life was great!

Then my son was next. The day I gave them off of school he was fine. The NEXT day he was completely wasted. It was all good and so worth it though when I had to call his school and say he needed another day. Life’s tough when you have to call your kid’s school because he had too much fun on vacation….kidding! It was all good.

Then came my daughter. She experienced things a little different. She was in her room happily drawing when her hair got in the way. She lost it….literally. She found scissors and, well, let’s just say that hair won’t bother her again. Then I saw her and the sweet afterglow of that wonderful week disintegrated like it had been hit by a freight train. She got grounded and then I grounded myself while I cooled off and tried desperately to bring back that warm fuzzy feeling. After all, it was just hair, right? I made a hair appointment for her while I tried somewhat successfully to rationalize myself into a better mood. Notice I said “somewhat successfully”. After cooling off a bit we discussed what to do with her hair. We almost agreed when I came up with the idea of a pixie cut. She thought they were cute but wasn’t sold.

Annoyed Tabby Cat

The next day after going back and forth several times with her not wanting to cut off all her hair and me saying she already did half of it so we may as well finish the job, we got it done. It was so hard watching the rest of her hair go but I listened to the stories the stylist told of other clients going through the same thing. As I watched the hair fall and the new cut start to take shape, I noticed that it actually looked kind of cute. She looked more grown-up and the style really did suit her sassy personality better.

I started thinking that maybe it really wasn’t that big a deal and that although she did something that at the time hurt my trust in her, maybe it wasn’t that that I was so upset about. Maybe it was the “letting go” of the little girl with the long pretty hair. Maybe I kind of forgot one of the greatest gifts I received during my trip…that of being chill and carefree…of letting things just happen and unfold as they will without getting too caught up.

She’s now rocking a short, sassy pixie that she’s not really in love with but looks cute, and I’m in a much cooler and contemplative space.

Thank you, Hawaii, for my beautiful lesson and to my monkey for that challenging test. Hopefully I’ll get a better grade next time.

I would love to read your thoughts. Have you ever been challenged in being carefree? Leave a comment below…or just say “hi”!

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