The Chauffer’s tale.
Today is the day that I start my blog. I will obsess over it. Edit and re-edit, send it off to my sister and friend who signed on as my beta readers and maybe, perhaps, it will make it to WordPress. A blog about what?… Yikes. The commitment there. Well life. And stories, small scale adventures. I’m a huge fan of the hometown adventures movement.
Whenever I visit a place I spend months researching it. The whole time I’m there I’m trying to soak up the experience, but still driving away, or flying over it on the plane I wonder if I missed something, the essence of the place, what it’s all about, what makes it different from every other place, and what it would be like to say, live there for the rest of my life. Hometown adventures are that, when you live somewhere and you’ve got half the day, where do you go? Or your weekends? What do you do everyday to make that day different from the rest of the days? People get bored wherever they are. My cousin, the most well traveled person I’m likely ever to meet, told me this. She had been staying in a village in Europe, the whole village lived in this castle area and everyday when they woke up, a castle! In the European countryside. She was talking to a girl one day, and did she love it? This girl who’d lived there since birth? Did she feel like she’d wandered into a fairytale? Nope! She found it terribly ordinary, boring even, and couldn’t wait to move out of the quaint little village perched next to a castle.
One persons adventure is another’s ordinary. This point is drilled into me via Instagram. I followed the “Into The Okavango” expedition page, and all their harrowing bold tales in the name of conservation were occasionally speckled with, “Oh and here, we passed this village” (enter picture of toddlers scampering about with elephants and crocodiles, lions roaring in the background.) Tired weary bold adventurers near death on the banks of the Okavango while toddlers born there dance, laugh, and play around them. (I understand that’s a gross oversimplification of their mission and travels, and in no way mean to trivialize them.)
So that’s a large part of what this is, or hopefully will be. What it is like to live on Kaua’i. This small tropical island in the Pacific that tourists fantasize about as they save money for their dream trip. The place where blockbusters are filmed, and everyone but me has run into celebrities out for their morning coffee. Our everyday hometown adventures in this part of the earth.
Who exactly is telling you this? Perspective is important. Trusting your narrator is important. I didn’t read it, but a few years back there was a book about the search for happiness. This lady, a mom, spent a year doing all the things the experts said would make folks happy. Her book did great. But the fact, when it emerged, that she was a financially well to do stay at home mom with people to watch her kids while she cavorted about in search of happiness soured some folks who thought, “How dare she not be happy with a setup like that?!” And so for this reason, to avoid any misunderstandings I will tell you who it is typing away at this here keyboard.
I’m nearly thirty, I tell tall tales, gross exaggerations that I’m sure are real until I see the looks of disbelief on my audience’s face. “That never happened,” my mom and sister will say, but I’m quite certain the truth is that I have an exceptional memory and everyone else is forgetful.
My husband thinks the closest fictional version of me is Matt Damon’s character on the film, “The Informant.”
As a kid my family moved every 5 years or so, whenever I tell this to people they nod, “Military right? You’re and army brat.” They seem proud as if they’ve figured out some puzzle, discovered why I’m a bit, “off”. I haven’t always corrected them. The truth is far more convoluted and personal. Personal to the folks who told my sister and I to pack our lives into suitcases, and leave our past behind us every few years. My mom and dad. Moving had a lot to do with a love story gone awry, horrible logging accidents, pursuit of an education, job opportunities, Doctors writing prescriptions for things they shouldn’t have. Every move was to “save the family” and every time we moved a warm feeling of hope enveloped me as we hit the open road, or boarded an airplane leaving our cares behind us. I latched on to that whole new beginnings deal, it made me feel I was a nomad, journeying across the globe, venturing out into the unknown in search of new and curios things. The last move, to Hawai’i was a bit much though. Things went bad. The family didn’t run off to a new place in hope of repairing itself. I did. I was told it was a bad idea, “You can’t run! Face your problems!”. As if my problems were friends I wanted to greet and have a chat over coffee with. Or a criminal record I had to face up to and do the time for. I went as far down the island chain as I could. Then of course I met him. The only son of a widow. We fell in love, (I think, he doesn’t talk much) got married, had kids and somehow I’ve ended up in the same place for ten years. The desire to roam never leaves, but thankfully Kaua’i is full of places waiting to explore. The kids and I load in the car each day and hit the road, and I for one am always intoxicated with that feeling of, “What should we do? Where should we go?” All the possibilities running through my head.
Speaking of possibilities it’s not only possible but it is fact that I live in a tourist trap. Most everything has been blogged, revealed, and travel magazined to death out over here, so I won’t be offering general facts or travel information, unless I personally find them interesting. I will be offering my impressions and the realities of being here with a four year old and a one year old.
That whole parenting thing. I will put up parenting things. Being the mom, aka the chauffeur, for two kids is pretty much my whole existence now. I will clearly state in the title it’s a parenting blog though so you can avoid them if you wish. It seems that’s what stay at home moms do, write blogs on how to thrive and not just survive motherhood. Parenting I have found is a constant work in progress, something that is improved upon every day as I very much care about doing a good job of raising the little folks. When I was pregnant there was piles of parenting books read, I scoured the internet for advice, signed up for every parenting newsletter I could find, dutifully taking notes. Then there I was in the hospital, ringing the nurses to change my baby’s diaper because I was terrified of it… I mean him, the baby. I’d had an emergency c-section and was heavily medicated, by day two visitors were concerned over the fact I wasn’t holding him, and when they sent me away to go home I was horrified “What?! There will be a baby at my house? What am I supposed to do with a baby?” Enter the community. The village if you will. Friends and family who came over and camped out at my house for weeks helping me, giving me support and advice. Most of anything I share with you I learned from them, or will soon learn from them.
Thank you for taking the time to read this blog, I hope to have the honor of writing for you again!!!!
______ Sincerely, the Chauffeur_____