Every Mom’s Dream
Three days – ALONE!?!
-Melina Gerosa Bellows
Day 1 So here I am at my private villa. Not just any villa, mind you, but one at the exclusive, brand-new Banyan Tree Mayakoba, on Mexico’s Mayan Riviera. My bedroom has a cathedral ceiling and circular marble bathroom with handpainted his-and-her Mexican sinks and an outdoor bathtub in a private courtyard. I also have a private pool, Jacuzzi, and, across from the pool, an additional room with a luxurious, pillow covered daybed, table and chairs, flat screen and wet bar.
What’s a villa dweller to do all day? Relax. I’m here for a long weekend while Daddy watches the kids. Alone! Alone! Alone! I lie on my lounge chair and ponder my options. Should I rip off my suit and skinny dip, or simply lie back and bask in the morning sun? Dig into a new novel or browse a fashion magazine? Shop for silver treasures, or take a contemplative stroll on the beach?
With so many decadent choices, the collective voice of Oprah, Ekhart, and Pema remind me that joy can only be found in the present moment. I need to wake up and be right here right now on my lounge chair, if I am to actually experience any of this splendidness.
Overwhelmed, I suddenly find myself in the darkness of my villa’s walk-in closet, tweezing my eyebrows in the light-up vanity mirror.
I look in the magnifying mirror and study all of my flaws, outer and inner. I’m in the Mayan Riviera, and I’m tweezing? Then I’m hard on myself for being hard on myself. A double whammy.
I give up on the present moment and go to the gym, where I pay it forward to some mythical future thinner day. On the elliptical, I stare out at a reflecting pool filled with green, heart-shaped lily pads floating hot-pink daisies. Each lily pad, I notice, has a slice out of it. I can relate, as my heart has been recently gouged by the eventual demise of my nine-year marriage. I force myself to focus on the pink daisy as a harbinger of growth and healing within the scar tissue of my own heart.
After my workout and Daisy Meditation, I feel a bit better. I’m much more of a Human Doing than a Human Being, a problem I’m working on, hence the “relaxing vacation.”
I know and like myself best when I’m crossing a task off of my list. The problem is what I care most about these days-being a good mother, healing my soul, and expressing myself creatively-are not crosser-offers. There’s no beginning or end to these goals, just experiences doled out moment by moment. Moments I find excruciating to be in.
I jump on the bike left outside my villa and ride down to the beach for lunch. As I pedal madly over the little wooden bridges, I catch myself having fun.
At the beach the wind froths baby whitecaps on the sea. I listen as the wind whistles restlessly through the palms. My thoughts follow suit:
When am I going to lose this ten pounds? (fatty)
I should set up more play dates for my kids. (bad mom)
I need to clean out the garage so I can get to my bike and start riding it to work. (sooo disorganized…)
Thanks for sharing, I tell the thoughts, now get back into the suitcase for the next two days.
Pulling myself back to the present, I focus on drinking in the beauty around me. I take little sips. White powder sand. Pink oleanders. The sea so turquoise it looks color-corrected.
Taking my time, I enjoy my grilled lobster so artistically shucked from its coral shell that is resembles a Georgia O’Keefe. The Little Mermaid never had it so good.
It used to be that all I ever wanted was to fall in love and get married. Once that happened, my heart’s desire morphed to starting a family. Now that I have two kids under five, all I want to do is be alone. Life would be so much easier if you could live it backward. Or if it worked like an iPod, and you could dial up exactly what you’re in the mood for rather than be bullied by chronology.
After lunch, I splash around in the sea. The trap of desire becomes clear to me. If I didn’t have any desires, then I wouldn’t be left to want. Perhaps I should try not wanting things.
Maybe I’ll try that after my treatment, heading to the spa. My Thai Herbal Detox includes a scrub, steam shower, and a massage with a handcrafted clay salt pot, which is filled with herbs and salt and then wrapped in a pouch. The skin is the largest organ in the body. Now that it’s been soothed, I feel myself relaxing.
That night, I dine at the resort’s Thai restaurant. I’m seated on the end of a long wooden dock overlooking a lagoon. The chef, on loan from Phuket, presents a feast including Yam Nhue (spicy beef salad), Geng Kheiw Warn Gai (chicken green curry) and exotic Penang Curry.
Later that evening, I’m sound asleep when I hear rat-a-tat-tat on the door.
I look at the clock. It’s 4 a.m. Did I dream the noise?
It sounds like someone is knocking on my door with a metal key.
“Yes?” I call out from my bed, wondering who on earth it could be at this hour.
It’s right around now that I remember my mother’s words when I told her that I was going to Mexico.
“It’s dangerous there,” she said ominously. She said this not because of the swine flu, which had not yet hit the area, but because my parents’ friend was kidnapped and tortured for years before being cast out on the street, transforming into a lunatic.
Suddenly I don’t want to be in a private villa. I want to be in a strip mall Chuck E Cheese, surrounded by hyper, over-stimulated children.
I call the front desk.
“Someone’s knocking on my door,” I whisper.
Although confused, the voice on the other end of the phone assures me he will investigate. I pull the covers over my head.
I hear the knock again. Rat-a-tat-tat…
Check Melina’s blog next week for Part Two of Three Days-ALONE!?!