Red and I hadn't taken a vacation in over 2.5 years. Yes, MLM is also 2.5. Do the math.
Plenty of parents we know have traveled with their tots while they were mere mites but we were always pretty damn cautious. We needed (read wanted) the ideal ambiance, support, accessories before we took MLM anywhere. It made it easier for us to cater to him and I guess somewhere we felt we were doing the right thing by him.
But being a SAHM has its cons as well. Mainly the one your kid plays on you but there are days when you can remember the pre-kid days so vividly that you know your brain's telling you to take a break else it'll explode and you'll be responsible for cleaning up the mess.
And so we did. Not clean the mess but took a vacation. All of us. With no child minders around. And that in a nutshell is what we needed. I think what most parents need is some time either by themselves or with each other with no offspring in sight. It helps tremendously in regaining some equilibrium within yourself and with each other. You've become a parent. Nothing is going to change that. What you need to be able to revert to from time to time is being just another person or a spouse or a friend within having nap times, feeding schedules et al on your radar. Essentially, having your guard down and being carefree.
The resort we went to was pretty decent by beach huts' standard. I would have enjoyed it more had I gone there on that long-awaited holiday with my sister, Red, folks or even by myself. But add a child to the mix which includes keeping them off the grass. Making sure they're out of the wicked waves during high tide. That they aren't guzzling down sea water like it's Voss and most importantly hurting themselves on the flotsam-jetsam that accumulates on the beach aka beer caps, cigarette butts, broken shells etc.
And my son usually tries to encompass all these things; if not in one go then gradually and with increasing frequency.
Was the holiday everything I wanted it to be? Kind of when you consider that I just factored in sun, sand, surf and beer. Ok that broke the alliteration but atleast it's honest!
I wanted to go as far as I could in the sea without fear of a great big wave taking me down to Atlantis for all eternity, Red wanted a new experience- he kayaked till his arms hurt. I wanted to take pictures of the surroundings- I did. And I wanted my kid to shriek with joy and delight- he did. Over and over and over again. Till the damn gulls cold shouldered us for the rest of our stay there.
We rode around on a bike and MLM learnt the Indian way of signalling a turn (never mind that it was usually a wrong one), Red lost his specs in the sea and ended up making an emergency trip to Madgaon and buying contacts and shades and making 'Enna Rascala' poses!
Anyhoo, the upshot was that, it was a fantastic trip with plenty of bumps that made us consider the location, facilities available for our next trip. Which I dearly hope will be before another 2 years.
Some Goan snapshots-