Just Me and My Guy – By Cara Potapshyn Meyers
A beautiful ocean breeze is blowing by me while my son is making the “world’s largest sandcastle” with a little boy he befriended. We have had impeccable weather since we have been here; Five days so far. Under ordinary circumstances, this would be sublime.
My son and I are at a ridiculously overpriced beachfront hotel, with suboptimal service (I am the Hotel Snob, you know). Our house has been without power, food, and hot water for almost a week now, since Hurricane Irene passed by. My son couldn’t take the pitch black nights with no air conditioning or fans and no refrigerated food. I made a call to a beachfront resort that I had tried to make reservations with a month ago. At that time they were booked solid. I called the day after the hurricane passed and wouldn’t you know it! I had my choice of any room I wanted because so many guests had cancelled! I planned to stay for just a few days since I predicted we would have power back within that time. No such luck. I extended our stay throughout the Labor Day weekend.
This unplanned excursion, although bordering on necessary, has really been a treat for both my son and me. Neither of us had been to the beach all summer. My son adores the beach and wallows in the sand. I know I can take him anywhere and he will make friends…even a beach chair, if necessary! His BFF and mine came to visit us one of the days we were here. That day went too quickly for us. Since then, my son has befriended a boy who is here with his Mom and siblings because they lost power also. The boys have been practically inseparable.
My only frustration has been the fact that some cell towers around here have been inactive, due to the storm. My only means of communication has been through texting. I’m not sure if I like embracing my limited means of communication or not. On the one hand, I have to use my computer sparingly. Getting and receiving cell phone calls is practically impossible. If the wind blows the right way, I can post on FaceBook or upload a photo of my son on the beach. All in all, though, I’m getting used to the spotty connections and limitations to the outside world.
The best part of this trip has been the bonding I have had with my son. We are “together” 24/7. He is off with his friend while on the beach, but we are together at all other times. We lie in bed, exhausted at the end of the day. He watches some TV while I read or type this blog. We order in room service because I arranged to get meal vouchers. All I have to pay for is the delivery fee. Basically, we do what we want, when we want, with no set schedule at all. It’s perfect!
We also play on the beach together. When my son’s friend has somewhere else to go, we fly our kite, dig in the sand, and walk on the beach collecting treasures. I get cold easily, so I stay at the water’s edge and take photos of my son as he navigates the wild post-hurricane current with his boogie board! We even became friendly with a very nice lifeguard who took my son out into the ocean to help him learn to swim in ocean water. I have complete confidence when my son is in a pool or still water. But ocean water is always unpredictable. I want him to feel the unpredictability and learn how to navigate through it. He is strong and sure of himself. I have no reason to believe he won’t be able to be completely comfortable and respectful of the ocean. He wants to learn to surf one day. One needs to be totally at ease but mindful to take on a sport such as that.
This week has been an unexpected joy! My blogs, however, seem to depict an oxymoron! Last week I was swooning over my extended “alone time.” Now I am swooning over time spent together with my son. I guess this shows me that there really is no balance to parenting if you have one but not the other. I also believe that because we are just doing our own thing, without any set schedules, it makes this time together even more enjoyable. I am almost disappointed for us both that school begins in a few days. We’ll be back to “routine.” Everyone needs routine in their lives to some extent. Some more than others. But I am loving this simple time with just my son. His sweet endearments towards me. My unbridled love for him. Just the two of us. Just me and my guy.