So we settled into our ridiculously posh surroundings feeling like we were playing pretend among the rich and famous. Yet as we lounged by the pool on the first day we quickly realized that something was keeping us from fully enjoying the vacation. Maybe it was all the splashing, yelling, and water fights coming from the pool. Turns out the downside of being a teacher and going on spring break when everyone else has spring break is that you have to travel when everyone else has spring break. Which means relaxing, romantic swimming pools are full of kids. Not that there is anything wrong with kids. I mean, I love kids. I've dedicated my life to working with kids. But, sometimes, a girl wants to sip her Margaretta and not wonder if the parents are going to break up the sibling fight that's quickly spiraling out of control, or if she's going to have to step in and do it herself.
Watching families who can afford to take their entire crew to a 5 star resort for a week was educational to say the least. We saw some wonderful, loving families who joked and played together. And then we saw some others. The favorite was what we came to refer to as the "All American" family, who did not sit down together without every child having a Nintendo DS in their hand, and the parents holding their own blackberry/cell phone. Over a $28 per plate buffet we watched one family not interact once because they were so absorbed in their individual games.
Across the way we watched a mother flag down a waiter to request to bring her daughter a bowl of chocolate syrup. "Chocolate syrup?" the waiter asked, clearly confused as the girl only had a bagel and a piece of bacon on her plate. "Yes" the woman replied. End of conversation.
When the waiter returned with the syrup the girl did not look up, but took it and carefully poured it over her bagel.
The mother in the Juicy Couture sweat suit who pulled her 10 year old daughter out of the pool to deliver the bad news- she'd just gotten her daughter's lacrosse schedule and it conflicted with her soccer practices. AND they'd have a game on mother's day. The mother, arms across her chest, ranted away, while her daughter listened politely, eying the heated pool where her friends were happily playing. I have a feeling it wasn't her idea to play both soccer and lacrosse.
The mother who kindly explained to her son that The Cat in The Hat comes back was just too long to read in the hot sun. I almost stepped in- "I'm a professional, I'll handle the read-aloud" I imagined myself saying.
I'm sure all of these are good parents, and nobody is 100% on their A game, especially on vacation when you are forced to spend an unnatural week together in close quarters. Maybe if it was me I'd be thrilled to hand my child a DS so we could enjoy our $28 pancakes. But I want to cry out "You don't know how lucky you are- you speak the same language as your child! You're total bill at breakfast is more than some parents make in a day! Talk about how delicious the pancakes are- compare the different types of syrup- ask your child the benefits of pouring chocolate syrup on her bagel!!"
But maybe I'm just jealous of all these children who spend their spring break in the heated pool- not having to know the childhood adventure of jumping into cold water after a rain storm. Or not having to throw away their trash because the is someone walking around doing it for them- when we decided we had trash we wanted to throw away we literally could not find a trash can- no wonder the children were leaving their plastic cups and napkins on the side of the pool- and they miraculously vanished.