Togetherness is overrated

The husband, kid, and I just came back from a mini-vacation at a nearby state park. We stayed in the lodge and just spent a few days playing in the pool, hiking in the woods, putzing around Amish country, playing games, and generally having a good time. Families are a funny thing, even small families like ours. Each person wants to do his or her own thing. The kid would have been content to spend the entire time in the water, with occasional jaunts online to forage for food or play a few hands of UNO. The husband just likes poking around podunky little towns. I’m there for the trees. Put me in the middle of the woods and let me hike my way out and I’m the happiest of beings. Finding a balance of all three of these things was challenging. By the end of the day, we were dog tired.

The lodge room had two double beds. One was dubbed the Stinky Boy Bed, which is where the husband slept. The other was the Girls Bed (Girls Rule, Boys Drool), which is where the kid and I slept. My child rotates approximately 720 degrees during the course of one night. It’s always a challenge to share a bed with her because I consistently end up with a hand/arm/knee/foot/head lodge in my back/face/stomach. After an hour or two of lying there and trying to predict which combination will come next, I considered braving the boy cooties and moving over to the husband’s bed. Then he started snoring.

We’ve been together 13 years. I know the guy snores. But before any journey away from home, I seem to get this selective memory that his snoring isn’t so bad or that I’ll be tired enough or (perhaps) drunk enough that I’ll fall right to sleep and not to notice. It never happens. The Scylla kicks, Charybdis snores.

I’m currently reading Hemingway’s A Moveable Feast and brought it along on our trip. At 3:00 a.m., the idea of being a writer-about-town in Paris and leaving the spouse at home to fend for her/himself seemed unfairly attractive. I put the book down and rooted around in the old leather shaving kit that belonged to my grandfather and which I’ve used for traveling for the past twenty years. I managed to find one earplug. It helped a bit with the snoring, except I had to transfer it between ears every time I wanted to roll over. I supposed if you’re able to make the effort to move an earplug from one ear to another as you roll over then you aren’t actually unconscious. As I contorted myself to avoid the kicks from the kid and listened to the buzzsaw across the way, I begged most of the night to be unconscious.

This is what I get for breaking my cardinal rule of travel with my family: Always stay somewhere with two rooms.

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