An oxymoron

The term holiday weekend has become an oxymoron for me. Now that I am a family's camp counselor, transportation coordinator, chamber maid and "she-who-shall-not-be-named all around bad guy" I rarely find holidays or vacations of any kind restful.

I woke up and thought - let me take the dog for a run before it gets hot. I fell back asleep for about half an hour and was less motivated to run. Still motivated to get something done, I woke C and brought her with me to Wegmans for an early morning trip. At about 12:30 I realized no one had taken the dog for a proper walk, so I put on my New Balance and off we ran around the block. I came home drenched with sweat and had to shower. Meanwhile people were just beginning to think about what we needed to bring to the beach - our destination for the day. At the store I bought SPF 70 (!!!) sunblock for my fair husband's face only to be told "I just read that any SPF over 15 is bullshit and not worth buying." One of thooose days I see......

We pack the car with the bare essentials (1 towel per person, 4 chairs, 1 soda per person, sunscreen, a few books, extra clothes) and off we went... but first, we had to stop for slurpees at 7-Eleven. Oh, and by the way, there's a 30 mile stretch of the Parkway that's bumper to bumper traffic.... so we take Route 18 - with lights every few feet... but we get to Seven Presidents park in about 1 hour 15 minutes. Not tooooo bad.

It only took us half an hour longer than it should have to make our destination.

Once there it was first too hot, then too cold for my Dad. Yes, I should be much more empathetic for my heat-sensitive 85 year old Dad. I just couldn't find the love today. My husband wasn't much help either "I can't carry this, it's bad for my back" he said about the drinks. The kids were disappointed that the ocean was too cold for swimming. All I wanted was a cocktail, since I was driving, I couldn't have one.

It took us 30 minutes to drive 3 miles on the way home from the shore, so I navigated backroads (what would we have done before a GPS? Oh, I would have read the map!). Patience was wearing even thinner. My husband snapped at me for asking him how to find the temperature on his car. "There's only ONE button on the dashboard" (but on the navigation system there are a ton) and I just wanted to get home.

About 10 minutes south of Bridgewater we see smoke rising from the side of the road. A traffic sign hanging from a tree. Then we saw what caused it: a car ran down a huge pole. It's in flames. The ambulance and first cop get there only seconds before we drive by.

And I remember, since I'm here to write about it - completely unscathed - then I have to admit it was a good day. Moody men, road-raged Mom, grumpy grandpa and all. We got to our destination safely and we got home safely. Maybe holidays aren't restful for moms, but I guess in the big picture calling a day at beach trip on Memorial Day Weekend a holiday isn't an oxymoron after all.


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