As I write this, I am wearing slippers and have a blanket covering my legs. It is rather chilly outside with flurries falling, although by Canadian standards it is quite a mild winter day. By contrast, all five of my family members and their significant others, as well as my closest aunt and uncle, cousins, grandmother and closest friend are soaking up the sun on the shoreline of Costa Rica, gadding about and no doubt having lots of laughs and making many memories. They are there for my cousin’s wedding and I am the only one left behind.
For a long time, I harboured a secret fantasy that I would be able to go. I’m not sure if I was thinking my children would magically disappear into thin air for the week or Mrs. Doubtfire would show up and graciously offer to watch the wee ones while I frolicked in the surf, but no matter how silly, I held on to the notion like a shipwrecked sailor clutching his shattered stern until he’s washed ashore.
The closer the trip got, the more I heard the “C” word. I mean Costa Rica, get your mind out of the gutter! I asked that this offensive expletive not be muttered in my presence but it got pretty hard to avoid hearing it as departure neared. I wanted to be happy for my family, pleased as a piña colada that they would be spending the entire week soaking up the Caribbean sun all together, but it was hard. Try as I might, the envy festered just below the surface, threatening to bubble over like Mount Vesuvius on the unsuspecting Romans.
So, like a petulant child, I am refusing to look at pictures. I’ve already got the paper cut, why pour lemon juice in it? One fine future day I am sure I will be able to look at the pictures and be genuinely happy for them, happy to look and laugh upon their memories, but for now I will allow myself to lick my wounds in a childish and jealous manner.
Good thing I love my children and wouldn’t trade them for a hundred trips to the tropics.