Sorry, whenever I think of the word "Jamaica", this song pops into my head.
Will and I took a quick (4 nights) trip to Jamaica last week. We used to go to the Caribbean all the time back when we were young, childless newlyweds, but having kiddoes curtailed that pretty quick. I have taken a couple trips without Emily since she was born, but I've never left Charlotte for longer than 1 night and I've never left the country since having kids so this was a big hairy deal for me. We decided on Jamaica because #1 We'd never been before and #2 We could get a direct flight from Baltimore. If I was leaving my kids, I didn't want to make the trip any longer with layovers!
I was kind of a wreck when I left...Emily is old enough now to realize what is going on and she was a bit sad I was leaving, especially since she asks me practically daily if she can fly in an airplane or go to the beach and here we were doing both without her. I cried as we drove away, and was feeling pretty sick to my stomach as we headed to the airport. Partially because I haven't traveled (especially internationally) in so long, and partially because I was going to be so far away from my kids and difficult to reach.
But I finally chilled out a bit when we got to Jamaica, and we ended up having a great time. I appreciate being able to relax and do whatever *I* want to do so much more now that I have kids. Whenever I'd miss the girls (for example when a family with a 4 year old girl and a 1 year old girl wearing pink tiaras sat down at the table next to us at breakfast) I'd avert my gaze to a kid acting bratty (there were usually a couple of those close by too) and feel glad that I wasn't currently trying to control my kids in a restaurant. We spent our time wandering, laying on the beach and hanging out in the pool getting drunk in the middle of the day on our own schedule, instead of standing by the playground trying to convince our kids it was time to go eat or go back to the room for a nap.
We even went for massages, which is not unique for me, but is very out of the ordinary for Will. His last massage was on our honeymoon 7.5 years ago, and he hated it. He enjoyed this massage, although he had to tell his masseuse to go easier on him a couple times. Apparently Jamaican masseuses are beasts, because I finally met my match in a masseuse as well. I usually like a hard massage...my sister and I used to "work out the knots" in each other's backs growing up, which was basically just taking out our pent-up aggressions on each other, so I'm accustomed to pain during a massage and I even welcome it because I know that I will feel better and looser the next day if the masseuse really goes at it. But this woman was nuts. I ALMOST made it through the massage, but at one point I was in so much pain that when I opened my eyes my vision slid sideways a bit so I decided that rather than passing out I would tell her to ease up, something that was not easy for me to do because I had never had to do it before! I felt defeated until a couple hours later, when I noticed my back looked like this:
Not normal. It looks like something tried to claw its way through my skin, but really she managed to make those marks with her elbow. Yeouch! I couldn't stand anyone touching my back for 3 days afterward.
Luckily, the massage was the most stressful part of my trip (kind of backwards, isn't it?) and now that I've done my first international jaunt away from the girls I think future trips will be easier.