Tuesday, January 27, 2009

"Family in Hammocks" Journal Entry 1-24-09

Swaying in a hammock with the sound of the gentle breeze rustling through the palms overhead and the waves crashing on the hurricane eroded beach, I am at total peace. Lauren is in my lap soundly snoring with my sweater wrapped all around her salty wet, sandy clothes. The sun sets slowly as we sway. Next to us Sabrina and Ann Marie play games swinging the hammocks high and trying to catch each other. Dad watches them play from a hammock of his own. Somehow this beautiful place with its aqua turquesa can be such a place of peace and serenity.
I have taken a thousand mental photographs this week with my little family in the Mexican Riviera. I wish I could bottle these moments to be opened and enjoyed later again and again. But one thing this trip has taught me is that you really can never go back. I spent time here 15 years ago. It was a wonderful summer living down here experiencing new things and amazing culture. I visited some of the most naturally beautiful places I have ever seen. I have tried to find one of them this trip. But hurricanes and increased tourism traffic have changed the place. It is no longer the incredible, unforgettable, paradisaical place it was in my treasured memories. Still, the area is amazing. It is just not the same as it once was 15 years ago.
Thus, I am savoring this time with my young children here. We could say, “well that would have been more fun with teenagers.” But, I will not say that. It will not be the same trip when they are teenagers. They will not count how many iguanas they see in the water park. They will not chase the waves and run from them as they crash on the shore. They will not be amazed by every bug or so thrilled by free ice cream at the buffet. They will appreciate other things. We will never have this time with them again. We can never go back.
So tonight, I am savoring the now, just as I did 15 years ago as a college girl. I savored the experience I had then and the memories of it still are sweet to me. Tonight I am soaking in the present so that tomorrow I can recall those mental photographs with joy and bring again to my soul the stillness and tranquility of swaying in a hammock with a baby in my belly and a little wonder of a girl sleeping soundly on her soon to be brother with all her family close at hand.


13 comments:

Amanda said...

It sounds like you had a very peaceful time.

Plain Jame said...

I have been pondering a trip to Mexico, but was really nervous with my two small girls and being pregnant. Looks like you not only survived but had a perfect time!
I guess it all depends on where you go and what you eat?

PS: In that picture you posted you have gorgeous knees!

2thfairy said...

I find it is easier to enjoy the now away from home, where the phone doesn't ring, housework doesn't lurk, and other day to day tasks can be forgotten (or set a side)! I am so happy for you finding some peace & enjoying the now!

Jonathan Waite said...

Plain Jame,
It makes sense to be somewhat nervous going to a foreign country with little children. We had to be extra vigilent with our girls and during some parts of the trip it was more work than vacation. However, so long as you go in knowing that there is extra work involved it it worth it IMO.

Marleen said...

Beautiful place, beautiful thoughts.

Marleen said...

Don't you love the knee comment!

Anne said...

Sounds like a wonderful vacation. Wish I was there - you make the hammocks sound so enticing.

Just A Mom (Call me JAM for short) said...

Having a daughter that is now 24 and a son who is 12, you are very right. You can never go back. Yet, as you are doing, I try to etch into my memory the sweetness of what each age brings.

What a beautiful post and another reminder to us all to savor each moment.

Sweet blessings to you and your family.

Heidi said...

What a great post. And I feel the same way. Enjoy what you have now. And then enjoy what you have later. But try not to wish the now away.

April said...

what a beautiful vacation!

christina said...

Stephanie,
You don't know me but I have been following you for a while now. I have just never commented before. I love your daily observations and your writing style. Anyway, a few days ago you posted about how you had some self esteem issues and a few other things that you didn't want to open up the baggage about(not that I blame you) I am a member of the Church in central Oregon (Bend area) 4 weeks ago I start going to the 12 step gospel class that is so awesome!! It is a class on the atonement. It is so great and it really goes into these issues of not feeling worthy, or how we compare ourselves to other and their lives...This class started out as an addiction class but it isn't really a chemical addiction only class. We are all addictied to differant things...shopping,being critical, judgeing others, I am taking this class with my husband and it has really just made our relationship with each other grow so much. I am not sure why I felt compelled t tell you about this class but If you want to know a bit more about it and the name, feel free to e-mail me. We all are so hard on ourselves about so many things big and small. This class is so wonderful about helping us to love ourselves like our heavenly Father loves us. It is sooo good!
Chris
cglenn@bendcable.com

mutze handknit by ashley said...

What a fun trip. I want to go. It looks like you all had a relaxing time. We love Mexico. Brent served his mission there and we went on our honeymoon there. I need to get back. How fun that the girls got to go too. You look amazing. I can't wait for this baby boy. I have a hat already made. Xoxo. Ashley

Rachel said...

Thanks again for your wisdom and insight. Adam and I are in Washington DC for three months with our kids due to his work. It's an amazing opportunity to take in all the culture and history, but at ages 4-10, they can't quite appreciate all the "important" stuff as much as they "should". We probably will get to do this again when they're older, and reading your post has made me think about all the things they're fascinated by now that they won't care about when they're older and can appreciate the more "important" stuff. It IS fun to discover our nation's capitol through my kids' eyes.