Thursday, March 08, 2007

Culebra, Small World & Parenting Woes

(Written Wed. evening)

I write to you, Loyal Readers, with a song in my heart and a little burn on my shoulders. Today, we spent the day on Playa Flamenco on the tiny island of Culebra, about an hour ferry ride from the main island of Puerto Rico. Apparently this beach is consistently ranked as on of the world’s loveliest - probably one of the ten thousand top fifty beaches - but from this photo, perhaps you can see why the praises of this gorgeous spot are sung with so much enthusiasm.

Here is a picture of Jack playing in the surf, fully recovered from his impressive seasickness on the ferry ride over. The ride back, I am happy to report, was without incident.

Here is a picture of your BloomingtonGirl’s tootsies soaking up the sun on the beach. I took a brief break from reading the best novel I have ever read - Clarissa, in case you haven’t guessed- to snap that photo for your viewing pleasure. In case you are wondering, I am now on page 1283. I tore the book into two pieces about page 1050 so that I would not have to lug the entire tome on vacation. I was a bit sorry to ruin what has become my favorite novel of all time, but I shall put the hardcover Clarissa on my Christmas list.

On the ferry ride over, I espied the man pictured here. Look closely, Loyal Readers, and you will see that his shirt is emblazoned with the name of my beloved hometown! I had to ask him for a picture because this is exactly the kind of thing my dad loves. It turns out that he is from Utica and spends quite a bit of time in Puerto Rico. He knew a family on my childhood street. Small world, eh?

Overall, this vacation has been good, with things particularly picking up today. We had our doubts about Jack being able to take the drive to the ferry, the ferry ride and the (tiny) hardships of being on a little adventure in a very little town with questionable amenities. But, he surprised us with his good behavior. Because, I hate to say it, the downside of this trip until today has been the difficult-spoiled-only-child behavior of our difficult-spoiled (for all practical purposes because his sisters are so much older) only-child. I hope that today’s pleasant turn for the better in that department lasts the rest of the week. It is challenging to discipline a kid on vacation. I find that my only comfort in this is to remember what a back-talking brat I was to my mother. I turned out okay after all, so there is hope for Jack perhaps.

I always thought I would be a better parent than I turned out to be - so lofty was I in my parenting beliefs. I suppose that the humbling fall from arrogance that happened to me as a mother happens to many people, particularly those who have their kids late enough in life to be able to spend many childless adult years harshly judging the parenting shortcomings of their siblings and friends. Ha! The joke has been on me. I find that parenting is hard because it is always calling me to rise above my own childishness to be a mature and calm role model to my six year-old. And, it has become clear to me that I have failed to do that consistently. How has it become clear? Because I hear Jack parroting slightly sarcastic, or exasperated things that he learned straight from me when I am angry at him. Not a nice thing to observe about myself, believe you me. But, I know that I am not the only one out there. I am working on it, but it is slow going for a hot head such as myself.

Tomorrow, we are going to say at the resort, work out, lounge, read, swim and have a Mojito or two (sorry Katie!). On Friday, we are planning to do a walking tour of Old San Juan. Saturday, alas, we return to Indiana.

Adios for now.


Perk said...

Further evidence that you can leave Herkimer but Herkimer can't leave you...If Heaven exists it wouldn't surprise me if when I got there it looked like Herkimer circa 1978...

Dick said...

Where are the rest of the legs? and Herkimer, circa 1978 in Heaven, with you guys would be allright with me!