Thursday, April 12, 2007

Wishing We Could Hunt Eggs Forever.

We spent the last part of our Spring Break as the guests of good friends of ours who own a ranch a few hours outside of L.A. They've refurbished three small houses on their property into charming guest cottages, and we had an entire house all to ourselves along with a beautiful, unobstructed view of a lake. As if all of that wasn't perfect enough, our hosts drove their own espresso machine all the way up from L.A. and placed it in our kitchen because they know, and are slightly afraid of, how miserable, cranky and abusive I get without my 4pm double-shot cappuccino. It was like the Starbucks Bunny leaving me his golden egg.

We love hanging out with these friends, and an added bonus is that their two daughters are Kira and Kiyomi's best buddies. When the four of them are together they form an impenetrable unit and mysteriously seem to exist without any adult intervention. They enjoy an autonomy during these times that miraculously empowers them to even - gasp - get their own snacks. So while the girls raided the cupboards, played croquet and drew outfits for their band, the four of us adults were left to sit on the porch admiring the lake, drinking good wine and most importantly, planning our naps.

Their ranch sits on over a hundred acres, and one of the best things about being there was seeing the freedom that our girls enjoyed. We felt comfortable having them out of our sight and they could easily move from one house to the next since they were less than fifty-feet from each other. Kiyomi would wake up early in the mornings, run next door and wake someone else up for a change and it was glorious. At home my paranoia and the threat of child abductors, feral dogs and meteors prevents me from rarely letting them out the front door without supervision. They're allowed to ride their scooters or skate the length of our street, and can go slightly farther than that if one of us is standing outside monitoring their every move with a military tracking device. I figure that by the time they're in college they'll be allowed to go completely around the block, as long as they call us on their cell phones from the halfway point.

As you can imagine, being in such an idyllic setting got Rigel and I thinking of how nice it would be to have a vacation home of our own. A place to retreat to on the weekends, a place for our kids to grow up with and our grandchildren to fight over. We started hallucinating, "We could do this!" and after a couple glasses of wine actually believed that we could afford such an endeavor and came up with a concrete plan to make it happen. But eventually the truth set in and we came to our senses - I had to concede that no one is actually going to pay me for a lap dance and Rigel wisely decided that he should hold on to both his kidneys.

We had a great time, but I have to say that as I watched the girls squealing during their Easter egg hunt I got a little melancholy. I know that activities like these will soon be a thing of the past as they give way to other more mature pursuits - my gut tells me that soon they'll be doing the hiding and it'll be something more contraband than eggs. At times like these I have to remind myself to live in the moment, and to enjoy these glimpses that are gone in an instant. Watching Kiyomi fly a kite, seeing all four girls bake a cake for Rigel's birthday that we celebrated that weekend, even the sixty seconds of paralyzing fear I felt when our friends mentioned they "may have seen a rattlesnake." They're all memories that are there for me to bask in, grasp and tuck away. I just need to remember to stop, step out onto the porch and smell that double-shot.

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26 comments:

  1. This is lovely, and now I want you so badly to have that house.

    Maybe your plan is just a little backwards? Maybe it's your kidneys and Riegels' lap dancing skills that are the key?

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  2. It looks beautiful there. That type of bliss is rarely found.

    I have been pining for a shack on a beach with a view for ages now. I hope your dream might come true, lap dancing and kidneys aside....

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  3. I have these moments too, the melancholy when you realize how quickly kids grow, and dynamics change.

    It sounds like a lovely time.

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  4. You holiday sounds amazing, and made me realize something important about my own life.

    I need better friends. :P

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  5. Sounds awesome. I am pining for a house like that now, and the family friends to go with it. :-)

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  6. I wish I had friends with such an awesome place.
    I guess no matter how old your kids get, you're always there trying to hold on to the present, while they're moving toward their future selves at warp speed.

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  7. Wow- sounds like a great place.

    BTW- where is this place? Seriously...

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  8. That sounds (and looks) idyllic.

    Great post -- the last line is so true.

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  9. I could not be more jealous of your friends if I tried. There place sounds lovely but the fun you had sounds better.

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  10. Mmm, sounds lovely. I need to cultivate some friends like these! I mean, I love the friends I already have, but they are sorely lacking in vaction homes with freestanding, espresso-ready dwellings for me and my family.

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  11. How fantastic! I think vacation homes are even more appealing when you live in an area like you do (or like we did back east). I never realized how much I could love the outdoors until we moved out here.

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  12. am i the only one who ruined their computer keyboard due to their "i know what you mean about your girls growing up too fast and i don't know what i'll do when they will want me to walk 5 paces behind them" sobs?

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  13. This is such a lovely post.

    And I'd be willing to donate one of my kidney's towards the house if I can be guranteed summers there.

    -annie

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  14. Beatuiful! The post, the picures, the way you've captured the moment...so beautiful.

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  15. love it. I am so glad you had a great time. And you are so very funny and tender at the same time. I am telling you, that is a rare quality. You are one good writer sweatpantsmom!

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  16. You know a lot of times I want to leave the city and buy a ranch and live like that. Especially when I see pictures like that. Sigh.

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  17. It looks lovely! There is something so peaceful about being in the country. Of course, that could have something to do with the wine *LOL*

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  18. I'm so envious...that sounds so lovely. The espresso part, of course. :)

    Staying in the moment...so, so hard to do. And so wonderful when you can.

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  19. Alert! Alert!

    They will be offering these cottages as vacation rentals soon.

    I'll keep you all posted.

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  20. OOh! OOh! Me! Me! I'm first in line.

    (how much?)

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  21. It sounds so wonderful. The Loved and I spend every vacation dreaming about how we can change our lives to include more of where we are--usually fueled by good wine. This weekend we made elaborate plans to move to Portland. Like that's ever gonna happen.

    Isn't it interesting that all we really want is a place where we don't fear for our kids and we can watch them be free from our worry?

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  22. Wow. You continue to blow me away with your amazing posts.

    And your vacation sounds simply awesome.

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  23. That looks as close to heaven on earth as one can get. I try and try and try to live in the moment, but traveling with two small children is like, zero fun. I like the idea of having more fun and relaxation when they're older. And double-shots cappuccinos are 4pm. Oh, hell yeah, cappuccinos!

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  24. the freedom is great for kids and grown ups.

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  25. jen from boston4/17/2007 8:22 AM

    Your photos are beautiful. Looks like heaven. I'd rent if I wasn't, you know, 3000 miles away.

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