Wednesday, December 30, 2009

The Family

We returned from our short holiday cruise last week. Just me and the boys- Fermin, my brother, and my dad.

When we booked the cruise a few months ago, we just sorta assumed a "Mexican Cruise" would be warm, beachy and water-sporty. We didn't realize the temperatures would be in the mid-60s. So although it wasn't bikini weather, we still found ways to occupy our time...and laugh a LOT.

I have one particular family to thank for much of that and it is-- Steve, Laura, and their kids, Makala, Elizabeth and Joshua. We noticed this family the very first day of the cruise. They were 2 very stressed out and loud parents, with 3 little kids. The first day at breakfast the mom, Laura, said in a loud booming voice, "NO ELIZABETH, YOU ARE NOT HAVING ICE CREAM FOR BREAKFAST" and she shoveled in loads, and loads of lord knows what into her own mouth. Because that caught our ears, we started paying attention to their table, and it soon became an obsession. We learned everyone's name just by listening as Laura screamed at everyone. We eventually had an actual conversation with she and Steve and got her name as well.

If you keep up with my blog much, you've probably read a few posts about how I feel about the news (bleh), and how I feel about the fear-based society that many people seem happy to live in. I realize now, it starts with the news, and it trickles down into parents who then pass it along to their kids.

Here's a great example, as illustrated by The Family.

The morning we were docked in Ensenada, Mexico, we of course were stationed at a nearby table, eavesdropping on The Family at breakfast time. As was the morning routine, Laura and the girls showed up first, and then Steve and Josh would wander in. Once the boys got there, Laura left briefly to drop the girls off at the Kids Camp.

After shoveling in about 4 plates of food in about 4 minutes flat, Steve wiped the napkin all over his face, cleared his throat and began the big speech getting Josh ready for the big day of fun out in Mexico.

"Ok. Listen to me Josh. I need to tell you a few things about where we're going today.

FIRST: Don't touch anything, and don't put your hands up to your face. There are a lot of dangerous germs in Mexico. It's a dirty, dirty place.

SECOND: DO NOT drink the water. There are parasites in the water that will give you something called DYSENTERY. That means diarrhea. So no matter how thirsty you are, DO NOT drink the water.

NUMBER 3: There are kids there are trained to pick pocket all the visitors. So if you have ANYTHING in your pockets, you need to leave it on the ship.
and finally...

NUMBER 4: The people in Mexico KIDNAP Americans to get a lot of money. So at all times you need to stay with Mommy and Daddy. I want you stuck to us like FLIES ON SHIT."

(** And yes, that is really the phrasing he used to his 8-ish year old son. Awesome.)

Josh looked so sad and worried as he dug around in his pockets, making sure he had nothing of value in them. And then he said, "Then why are we going?"

No kidding. His dad had just described a place that hardly sounded worth getting off the ship for.

And his dad replied, "Because we're gonna have FUN!"

Yay. Good times!

This is just one of the many over-heard conversations that made our trip very memorable. Thanks to... The Family!


Tapestry Tree said...

Seems like there is a family like that everywhere you go! And out of the mouths of babes, huh? "then why are we going?" I totally agree with you about the fear-based society. Wish we could find a way to get back to simpler times.....

fleetwood said...

Just glad to be a part of it. Absolutely Fabulous job. I think you should throw in a pic of Steve though!!!!!