Monday, June 18, 2012

let me come home

at least once a week i run the same 5 or 6 miles out in the park.  sometimes its rainy, sometimes its sunny, and well most of the time its foggy.  but i kid you not, every single time i'm out there, i literally have to stop and marvel at how incredibly beautiful it is.... and how wildly thankful i am to call this place home.

i know, i know.  here she goes again.., rambling on and on about how amazing los osos is.  doesn't she know they don't even have a sewer?  or that its foggy for at least 3 months out of the year?

i am painfully aware of all of my baby's faults.  but like the loving mother i am, i love this place unconditionally.

recently b and i took a trip down to san diego.  i've always liked it down there, with the warm water, great shopping, good food, and of course sea world.  it really has so much to offer.  b's parents have this timeshare that allows them to go to all these different resorts.  last year was san jose del cabo, mexico. this year was san diego.  they were both wonderful and we are so thankful they have made taking us on vacation with them once a year a priority.  its really a great tradition.... not just because we could never afford these trips on our own, but because its so nice to be with family.

since i've always been one who doesn't like to miss out on anything, being in san diego was harder for me than i thought it would be.  i'm the type of person who can't say no to any party, girls night, concert, beach day... anything really.  if its sunny out, i feel anxious if i'm not at the beach.  if everyone's going camping and my kids get sick, something in me dies inside.  not really, but you get the point.

needless to say this type of restlessness can really affect my family.  like one of the millions of other ways my kids are nothing like me, they don't possess this dis-contentedness that can plague me.  so when trying to vacation in a place where there is the excitement of the zoo and sea world and legoland, but also the romance of the beach and lounge chairs by the pool, i'm just torn in two.  this translates into massive agenda days... the one where every minute is accounted for, just so we don't miss a thing.

it had been awhile since i had been that agenda driven.  i think i felt like my kids were finally old enough to be victims of my insanity.  which leads me to ask... have you met my 2 year old?  she has the attention span of a goldfish.  she could give a rip about baby gorillas and giant roaring lions.  show her dolphins frolicking through the air and she'll laugh in their face and then start foraging through my purse in an attempt to seek and destroy all of my lipstick.  next up are my other two. though they really enjoy places like the zoo and sea world, the fact that they can't walk more than 30 ft without severe leg pain and whining really inhibits us all.  throw in what felt like the whole state of california in each of these parks and you've got your basic 3 kid meltdown with a mom who won't slow down and a dad who is desperately trying to keep the peace.

growing up in slo i probably went to los osos 4 times.  i was a typical teenager and spent my free time roaming downtown, eating free kona's sandwiches, and sneaking into the movies.  i'm not complaining, i thought that was really living.  so when the time finally came for b and i to buy a home and he purposed leaving our charming 1 bdrm house on garden st to a 1500+ in los osos, i practically had a panic attack.  what would i possibly do in los osos?  even if i had money to spend, there is literally no where to spend it.  and even if i had a bra to wear, there's really no where to wear it.
yet i wasn't about to pass up being a home owner and so we made the big move.  those first few months i realized it was the best thing we could have done.  that first week i remember walking the 2 blocks down to the bay and looking at all the boats and knowing one day one of them would be ours.  i remember for valentines day b and i discovered a little known culniary delight known as noi's and spent many a dates with a bottle of wine and massaman curry parked at the top of the hill in watching the sunset.  i remember our first year with lily, and b waking up every morning to walk down to the bay with her and the dog.  i remember discovering the jungle at the end of our street and spending hours exploring with it's tapestry of vines and mystery that blows doors on any video game.  i remember blackberry picking in the winter, long summer nights at sandspit watching my husband surf, and the romance of traipsing around hazards.  i remember discovering the endless, endless trails of MDO state park and being amazed when i heard there was yet another one i hadn't conquered.  i remember taking feverish kids down to spooners to skip rocks in the creek cuz there was no where else to take them.  i remember taking dinner down to the back bay and having a glass of wine while the kids played on the rope swings.  i remember getting our little boat and motoring over to the dunes and watching my kids get naked and splash to their hearts content.

so on our fourth day in san diego when b suggested we go explore the tidepools in la jolla instead of braving sea world again, i knew i had been broken.  this was confirmed when i saw the sheer joy and excitement of my 2 year old finally able to break free and run along the beach.  looking over at my son literally laying in the sand drawing with his fingers and my six year old sitting on the rocks sketching some sea snails she collected, i realized i was home.

though we grumble about the politics out here, and whine whine whine about the fog... i've always known in my heart that raising kids out here was just plain good for their soul.  to see my kids that day in san diego happier than they'd been all week was just that confirmation.  we finally are reaping the benefits of raising kids who love the outdoors.  kids who love the peacefulness and solidarity of nature.  i know it can't last forever and we'll likely loose them for at least a few years.   i know one day they will choose video games and downtown slo with their friends rather than a walk with their mom and dad on the beach.  but their first love will always be with them.  and for that, los osos, i am eternally indebted.