And the Family is Crazy

This has been an EXUBERANT summer. That’s my positive way of saying it’s been loud at Casa Campillo. My girl is home on break, my son and I are off, my husband is now retired, and we’ve redefined together time. Did I mention it was loud? I do love having a full nest, but you know what they say about too much of a good thing. No one holds their tongue in this house, and when we’re together 24/7, it can be . . . energetic. But I’ve learned a few tricks I thought I’d share:

  • When the world’s about to blow, get in some water. Even the most 18cantankerous person turns into a fun kid when they’re playing in the pool/lake/ocean. (BTW, the crazy/scary waves of the Pacific Ocean are especially effective). I’m seriously considering moving to a house boat.
  • Same holds true for Game of Thrones. This epic fantasy has enough drama, violence, romance and majesty to enthrall/quiet the masses. (Mature folks only. It is HBO). There’s even the after-show, when we debate whether it’s sexual chemistry or respect flashing between John Snow and Daenerys.jon-daenerys
  • Accept your kid’s inherent skills when assigning chores. I know, I know, I’m the mom and they should do what I say, but eventually you gotta face the facts – my daughter did not catch my yard work gene. A twenty-minute, weed-whacking job turns into a two-hour ordeal with multiple breaks for dramatic moaning and curses. Now give that gal toilet duty, and she puts Mr. Clean to shame.
  • When renting a car for a road trip, get a car two times larger than you think you need. At 5 foot 8 inches, I’m the shortest in the family. When I got us a full-size car, thinking I’d splurge, I soon found out my mistake. After two hours of driving through the beautiful, Scream Cartoon Paintingserene mountains east of Seattle, we had argued so volatilely that that I think Lucifer would’ve begged to get out. Trust me, get a bus.

Sorry I’m sharing these tips so late in the summer. It took me this long to figure some of them out. Please share any tips you have. It takes a village, you know. (Just not all in the same house.)

Date Night – Then and Now

file2731266152771On August 15, 1991, my husband and I went on our first date. This August, we’ll celebrate twenty-one years of marriage. What can I say? The guy took me on some great dates.

He still does, but not nearly as often. And it’s not like he’s dropped the ball. It’s just the reality of time, finances, and kids. So when the opportunity arises, he pulls out the big dogs. But our outings these days are different than those of yore.

Remember how it used to be? Two days before, I’d have planned the outfit. I mean everything – from the jewelry to my pedicure. These days, I think about what I have that will go with shoes that are sexy, yet comfortable. Yeah, it’s a limited choice. The night of, when I’m already an hour behind in my planned beauty prep, I discover nothing fits. This results in me calling off the whole night because, “I’m too gross to go out in public!” Thankfully, my husband, who’s still a charmer, can talk me down from the ledge.

In the old days, we were eager to learn everything about one another. file9221246822250Nothing the man said was boring. Now, over our first cocktail, we’re usually deciding on the appropriate punishment for the latest stunt our kids have pulled. (For you good parents, that would be consequence.) Once we’ve taken care of business, parent roles are pushed aside, and we talk about ourselves. Granted, we don’t always hang on the other’s every word, but on a good date (with a good bottle of wine), we laugh and enjoy one another sans all the junk that can clutter most days.

Back then, when it was time to head home, he’d open my car door and make sure I was comfortable before he shut it. As he headed to his side, I’d adjust my outfit to display my bod to its best advantage. I’d check my compact, looking for any debris in the teeth or nose, and as he opened his door, I’d toss my hair, trying to pull off fun, when in fact, I was going for a quick fluff. Then I was ready. Ready for that kiss that I knew would curl my toes.

But we’re married now. Intimacy has been established. There’s no wondering how our evening will end. On our last date, after he let me in the car (yes, he’s still a gentleman), I rushed to kick off my heels and yank off my Spanx shorts. By the time he got in the car, I’d reclined my seat and planted my feet on the dashboard.

He cocked his head and gave me a sexy smile. “You know we’re in a public parking garage.”

“I don’t care,” I answered, letting out a deep breath. “I’m freakin’ bloated.”

My husband patted my knee and said the words that prove he’s a hero: “I’ll stop and get some Gas X.”

God, I love that man.

Rose photo by mxruben. Cocktail photo by imelenchon.