Still in disbelief that we pulled it off, I am happy to report that Drew and I returned this week from a four-day trip to Jamaica. The trip was six years in the making, and was the first time we left Bug alone for a flight and extended stay far away. Actually, we left the country.
So why Jamaica? It’s because of shampoo.
In 2006, Drew treated me to a shopping spree at Aveda – a health and cosmetics store with natural products for hair and body. I loved their stuff – shampoo, lotion, makeup – and this was my official launch into life long usage. Aveda has a membership program. You sign up and then get points with each purchase that lead to an award redemption that ranges from a candle to … well, let’s not spoil the story.
If you know something about me, you know that I am disciplined. Twice a year, Aveda offered double points. I decided that I would only shop those times a year in an effort to get to the big award. In November 2010, I achieved the maximum award level – 50,000 points. This, my friends, entitled me to a four day, three night stay for two people at all-inclusive resort, The Caves in Negril, Jamaica. Wowza.
At that time, Bug was eight months old. How the heck were we going to leave the country for four days with the infant at home? We started to piece together a plan of daycare and friends to watch her. By April 2011, we were confident enough in the plan that we booked the trip. However, as 2011 went on, we realized we’d need to change our babysitting plans. Ultimately, it took three people staying at our house consecutively and our regular childcare provider to pitch in and make this work. My Mom stayed for three days, enjoying quality Bug time and giving us the tremendous gift of rest.
The weeks before our trip were spent making lists of Bug’s routines, updating phone lists, giving the babysitters permission with our doctor to bring Bug in if needed, sending emails of itineraries, making copies of house keys and stocking the kitchen. Loads of prep work.
Sitting on the coast of Negril, sipping a Dirty Banana, I realized the planning was totally worth it! And, Bug did great – no problems for anyone. But I also thought about how so few other new parents are willing and/or able to take time away from their kid. Everyone needs a vacation. Everyone needs a change in scenery from time to time. You refresh, you re-up. Being a parent is hard, and today’s lifestyle is grueling in its schedule demands.
In Negril, we started the days eating banana pancakes and scrambled eggs and then went snorkeling, talked with other guests in the 12-cottage resort (including others there via Aveda!), floated in the ocean into the caves themselves, and woke up all over again to the sound of the ocean waves. And “tradition” dictated that we jump from the cliffs. I did so exactly once.
I believe that you haven’t lived until you’ve had a massage oceanside. Start buying that shampoo now, and you’ll be there before you know it!