Feb 3, 2007

Adults Only

Adults only?

What does that mean?

It means that within minutes of arriving at the spa, Joe and I could feel some knob in our bodies being dialed down. Little energy pings fired off, sparkly, at our edges and then became fainter and fainter--like moving away from a crackling, spitting fireplace...hearing it fade, crackle and spit. Fade. Fade. Shhhhh.

It means that the habit of anticipating that someone other than me might be hungry or might have to pee took a while to break. In fact, I shelved my own urge to pee (what, me-- have a need?) on the way to the spa until it was too late and we were on rte. 28 in New Jersey and I couldn’t even focus on the map and I had to hold my seatbelt away from my hot sloshy midsection before I realized what was happening and so Joe pulled over right there on the edge (like we do with the kids sometimes...an edge where the road’s bending to the left so oncoming traffic can’t see the right side of the van) and I peed.

And since it was 7 degrees outside it created quite an astonishing visual effect.

And I asked Joe if he was hungry--or might be hungry in the next hour or so--and reminded him that if he didn’t eat soon he might have to wait six hours before dinner because there might not be any snacks--at least twice in the car as we drove...before realizing on my VERY own (which was nice because Joe could have shown me through loud exasperated sighs) that he could make his eating decisions all by himself.

Adults only means that the spa designers could landscape their pool area (their "aqua-lounge") with sharp craggy rocks the jagged edges of which I’d catch myself staring at, cringing at visions of bloody scrapes and worse, before remembering that no children would ever be climbing onto them, or getting too close to them, or doing that thing where they just can’t HELP but run on the side of the pool because their bodies are shivery and cold and they can’t wait to either jump back into the warm water or get wrapped in a fluffy towel.

Adults only means they can leave the big wooden drumsticks out in the middle of the lobby next to the precariously balanced set of cauldron-sized crystal healing bowls (or that they could consider having crystal healing bowls) without worrying that someone might move one, walk off with one, or use one as a weapon to clock a little sister in the head.

Adults only means that no one is asking me WHY anything. No one is asking me why I keep drinking hot water with lemon slices in it. I’m dying to tell someone why I’m doing it. I smile inside when I’m using the back of a spoon to mush the juice and loosen the pulp because I’m so pleased with myself for thinking of this... But no one’s asking, so I have to just hold all that good information inside.

Adults only means that I’ve become the quiet one and Joe’s Mr. Social. He’s so loose and relaxed that he’s making all sorts of friends--all the guys who work in the gym, the security guy, a mom from Rye and her daughter from DC who flew into Newark to get here and who does lots of yoga, our meditation teacher who misses Brooklyn--and I’m so loose and relaxed that I’m barely making eye contact with anyone, choosing instead to focus only on me, grateful to have lost the desire to edge into other conversations or to find common ground with anyone else. I’d avoided the mom from Rye and her daughter and slipped away contentedly when the meditation teacher ended the class with the chimes and some sighs.

Adults only means that when people are smiling at me it’s NOT because my children are doing something cute or looking especially gorgeous or are being especially awful. It could mean that they’re genuinely happy to see me but probably really means that part of the job description of everyone who works at this incredibly luxurious getaway is to be upbeat and curious and smiley.

Adults only means that the teensiest, quietest, smelliest little bit of gas can escape from my own body and I can’t innocently shrug it off as the generally mysterious foul-smelling aura expected from packs of children.

Adults only makes me realize how much I hide behind my kids.

Adults only allows me the space and energy to focus on the little things in life. Like on how I didn’t particularly love the exact tone Joe used to say goodbye to me at the end of one of our yoga sessions. I have a few seconds of feeling, umm, rejected? as I pad down the long corridor to our quiet hotel room. It’s a flashback to regular-relationship days when all of those tiny things mattered so much, a teensy seed of ‘hmmm what was that?’ buried under the stack of mattresses I used to sit on top of, alone. Teensy seeds that are hard to notice when you’ve got three little kids under the covers with you and one’s coughing so much she might throw up, and one’s worried about a kid at recess and can’t get to sleep, and one’s sleeping soundly but horizontally across everyone else.

Adults only means I’m Madonna and Child (and child and child) minus the Child (and the child and the child). Just some lady. Vulnerable to scrutiny, in a world where little things are amplified and I am only me. And the food is great, and the air is quiet, and the rocks at the pool are stunning, and the crystal bowls are beautiful, and the library beckons...

And I think I'm ready to go home.


mitzibel said...

Oh, Lady, I am so glad I found your corner of the BlogOSphere. I only wish we were closer so we could share a flask while our children push each other off the monkey bars.

Joanna said...

I love what you did with the artwork here. Tee hee!