I subscribe to some travel emails that send you the latest in travel deals around the country/world, and a specific email will arrive in your inbox if your local city has a particular deal. In all the ‘unsubscribing’ I did clearing out my email, this is one that I just couldn’t complete. I did change my settings to less frequent emails, but the idea of missing the crazy good deal on airfare to X location of my dreams was too much, so I stuck on the list.
I got an email alert for a deal today that took me back to almost two years ago. It was for one of the same resorts we stayed at in our last Mexican ‘hurrah’ before we came back to the states. We were in a bus station far from our home in Mexico, with nothing but our backpacks, trying to decide our next stop when we saw a deal alerting us to a resort in Oaxaca, “Dreams”. The same resort I got an email for today. It was a crazy good deal for a last minute stop at a resort we never would have been able to afford otherwise, so we looked at each other, decided to blow our cash and take an overnight bus ride to the other side of Mexico and just do it. We were young, free, and unencumbered. Trying to take advantage of the situation that we prayed everyday would leave us. We were giddy, jokes about our ‘sueños’ coming true abounded, and we ping ponged across bus connections in uncertain situations to make this trip happen.
When we showed up to the resort the bell boys asked where our luggage was. I guess it was not customary to get back packers at a place like this and we were certainly grimy looking from the last few days (and in need of doing laundry!). At dinner there were so many girls in cute swimsuits and dresses, and then there was me in my same dress I’d been wearing the past few days. I hadn’t felt so self conscious in a while! I remember wondering how many of these family reunions I saw were for drug lords, since it seemed ridiculously expensive for locals and the juxtaposition between poverty and extreme wealth in Mexico was always astounding. (I guess in America we hide our poverty better?)
But as much fun as the trip was, there was always the underlying ripple of emotion of infertility lurking below the surface. The conversations that would lead back to our impending “medical tourism” trip to Omaha. The mixed feelings about partaking in the poolside drinks. The thankfulness for the presence of the “adult only pool” sign. The understanding that this resort of “dreams” was not my dream, but just a way to distract myself from our dreams not coming true. If only my dream could be fulfilled so easily as a click on a button in an internet cafe in a Mexican bus station!
When I saw that email this morning, my mind flitted back to that weekend we spent there. What a great time that was! And I even forwarded the email to my husband to remind him of a past life when we bounced around Mexico, making memories of a lifetime in spite of our circumstances. Or rather, because of our circumstances. And it took a minute to hit me, it really was a good time. Even if I would have traded it for my real dreams of a family in a heartbeat, I’m so glad we embraced the moment and tried to make the most of it. We were so fortunate to be able to take such a trip.
The truth is, even living my ‘dreams’ now, there are really hard moments. Times where I pray for the Lord to just get me through a particular moment and to choose the option that gives dignity to the gift I could never claim to deserve. Parenting is about perspective and making the most of each moment, realizing that this too will pass and that there will be days when this isn’t quite so hard, so raw. Funny thing is that it wasn’t parenting that taught me this lesson the best.
I was told yesterday by a work outside-the-home-mom that she had “no idea” how I could spend all my days with my son. That it would be too hard for her. It caught me off guard (partially because I had been told this woman did IVF to conceive her son in her late age…also named Samuel) and I didn’t know how to respond in a way that wouldn’t be offensive. But the reality that this life is my dream. This is how I get through each day, I have been given an incredible gift and when I hug this precious little body as he lunges and tries to get out of my arms to explore things more interesting (!), nothing can take that away. I’ve been tempered by the reality of my dreams coming true, that is no lie, but…how blessed am I for that! So I won’t stand looking longingly back at a life I once had, opportunities that were objects of circumstance, pining for those things again. Because I have been there. Those weren’t my dreams then, and they aren’t my dreams now. So I smile at what I had, and on my knees I thank the Lord for what I have now. The reality of my dreams. And I smile as I click delete on that email.
Updated to finally add the tilde to the n…it was bugging me but I have no number pad on my laptop!