Going through security I glanced back at G-Dog and my sister Melanie and waved a tearful goodbye. Why did everything have to come to an end? Was I truly not going to see Melanie again for another year? Why was I leaving my mother on her birthday, and on the most glorious beach day yet? I wasn’t finished with diving into the cool sea after a long hot run. What I really wanted to do was to run over to Town Restaurant for just one more of my new favorite drinks, a Blood Orange Cosmopolitan.
G-Dog stepped over the security line and whispered in my ear, “Don’t straighten your hair again.” Wanting to look something less than frazzled while traveling, I had taken a straight iron to my hair. The tears evaporated and I walked forward wiping the salt from my face.
Mothers! Family vacations! I wish I could write the screenplay for the next Family Blockbuster but I am no David Sedaris and choose to not alienate myself from those who love me the most.
I will miss deeply my sisters and my mother, my village, albeit slightly dysfunctional. One night I fell exhausted into bed and woke up to a little Tucker hovering over me at 10:30 at night to tell me that Grandma was taking all the kids for a walk to the beach. Sleepily I opened the door to the living-room to see what was going on and there was G-Dog having a reading party with all of her grandkids nestled closely to her on the couch. She looked up quite happily, and a bit guiltily, and told me to go back to sleep. G-Dog, aka Mary Poppins, puts the f in fun and pulls us all together.
When it wasn’t dysfunctional, it was healing. The morning runs with Michele where we shared encouraging advice. An evening on the town with Melanie-Mouse and all of her Nantucket friends. The kids, and the dads, playing all day in the waves together while Michele and I, in our wetsuits, stayed closer to the shore on our boogie boards, no feet hanging in the water for fear of nibbling. We were happy that our hard-core surfing friends weren’t there to laugh at us or even worse convince us to go into the break where the seals, and possibly their predators, were hanging out.
I will miss the long bike rides with Wade. His long legs effortlessly pumping as I huff and puff to draft him into the headwind and the salty air. I will also miss the children playing in the garden even though it meant nightly tick checks and the application of ointment to poison ivy from blackberry picking.
As we reacclimate into the mountains, our plump moisturized skin shriveling up and our head aching from dehydration in the high altitude, I long for the family comraderie and the pristine beach days.
Good-bye Nantucket. I wish for these summers to never end!