3.23.2005

back from the beach
still rested
still moderately tan
still moderately sun burned
still feeling invigorated
yet happy to be back

my vacation seemed to do what vacations are supposed to do
for that... I am thankful

now that I am back from the beach I am able to reflect on my time in florida...

first a little fun fact about Florida from MYWORLD66

It is also the only place in the world where alligators and crocodiles exist side by side


it was an awesome vacation
it was a f-cking awesome vacation
the weather was perfect, well not perfect.... but good enough
each day easily fell under that bumper sticker philosophy...

a bad day fishing is better than a good day at work

we did not go fishing... but you get the point

sure the rain came down in Biblical Proportions on Thursday....
sure it was high seventies and not mid-eighties...
those factors did not make a difference
there was still plenty of sun for us to have "fun in the sun"
and we most definitely had some serious fun in the sun!

sand castles of many varieties were created on the beach
hours upon hours of swimming in the pool and splashing in the Gulf

it was a good time
we got to visit my 95 year old grandmother and hang with the inlaws
a good time was shared by all even with "the overlap"

"the overlap" is the intersection of our family vacation in florida with lisa's brother's family in florida
we have experienced "the overlap" before and I questioned if I should ever do it again
when planning our trip I saw the benefits of "the overlap" as well as the negative side of "the overlap"

as it turns out.... I left early.... only leaving a little more than a 24 hour overlap...
that was plenty

"the overlap" can be stressfull...
so many people in such a small space
so many small children
so many individual needs

lisa's brother has 4 children under 6 years of age
they are great kids.... and the parents are great parents
but... we just seem to have a few different approaches to things...
that whole "co-parenting" thing is tough
every parent deals with it
it is tough for everyone

lisa stayed a few extra days.... it is great for Dean and Grant to get to hang with thier cousins

my brother and sister inlaw are great.... we have a blast together
my four nephews on that side of the family are awesome.... I love them dearly
but there are issues
the issues are small... but there are issues

examples?
you want examples?

okay...
Dean and six year old cousin Billy are in the pool splashing around
each of them is playing very nicely... sharing a SCUBA mask as they each float around in their life jackets
after some time Dean feels the need to go to the bathroom.... he stresses that he needs to go bad
so I tell Dean to swim to the side of the pool and meet me at the door to the locker rooms
I swim towards our stuff at the other end of the pool to get the keys to let us into the building
I get to the door
peel off Dean's life jacket
unlock door
we rush to the bathroom
and ahhhhhh.....
we get to the bathroom in time for Dean to relieve himself
we return to the pool, put the life jacket back on and we both jump back into the pool
at this time 6 year old billy tells me gleefully that he has just peed in the pool
I try to explain to Billy that people should not pee in the pool
in between spitting out mouthfuls of water Billy explains to me "how it just feels so good"
I again try to explain why this behavior is not just inappropriate but is gross
then as I feel I am getting no where I drop the subject
then Billy's father Bill comes down to the pool.... here... now I have back up... this guy understands his son's logic
so I tell father Bill about little Billy's peeing in the pool..... Bill shrugs his shoulders...
the topic is dropped

I leave it at that
then the next day...
Billy is crying and upset.... he has a rash in his groin region....
the parents are racing about franticly looking for some vasaline...
I ask billy if he had peed in the pool.... his mother "shooshes" me
I continue my line of questioning... not waiting for an answer I inform Billy...
"you know... you may have gotten this rash from peeing in the pool...."
again there is "shooshing"
there is no back up... there is no effort to change this behavior...
this would have been the perfect opportunity to teach a lesson... to change behavior
even if the rash was not caused by his peeing in the pool.... maybe it would make him think twice before peeing in the pool next time
do I really care if Billy pees in the pool?
well... not so much...
what I do care about is having a child teaching my son such behaviors....

that was just one example of many that occurred in a overlap that was just over 24 hours long where 24 hours may have been just long enough

again....
I love these people all very dearly...
it is just tough when we are all in such close quarters....

oh....
maybe I should have kept my opinion to myself....

this is a relationship where we all speak freely together
last fall my sister inlaw and I had a fight because of my lack of concern for teaching my sons about Santa Claus
she was offended that when I told her that had no interest in telling Dean about Santa Claus.... sure we have a tree... presents.... lights... the works... even have a box set of those corny old animated classics! what I said that pissed her off was something like this....

"we are sure to be watching Rudolph films and I will talk with Dean about Santa.... but I will talk about Santa like a character in a movie in the same way I would talk about Darth Vader in Star Wars.... he will get plenty of reinforcement of the Santa Myth from school and friends... he does not need to get it from me...."


on this trip I got virtually the same lecture about my lack of desire to present the myth of The Tooth Fairy....

it is tough....
there are so many things I want to say or do as a father....
right now I feel that I am doing a pretty good job
looking at my children and the priorities I am stressing I think I will stay my course
I would much rather be stressing appropriate behavior in the pool, on the bicycle, or when hiking on the trails instead of switching my objectives to Santa and the Tooth Fairy....

this weekend we will be having an Easter Egg hunt at my father's house.....
this is not to say that I am going to tell my son about some massive bunny rabbit with all sorts of store bought candy.... no.... we are just going to run around and gather up plastic eggs


TRUE OF FALSE: There is a chemical that can be added to pool water that will color the water if a person were to pee in the water....the answer.

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