I have learned so many things over the last few days in Jamaica.  It’s fun to visit a different country and learn more about their culture and customs.  I studied up today on the Jamaican national emblems and figures in history.  There was a Jamaican trivia game tonight, and I wanted to win.  I didn’t, but I wanted to.

I’ve also learned some things about my family during this last few days.  Some of these I knew and was just reminded of.  Some of these were major revelations that will forever change how I look at my children. (Okay.  Maybe it wasn’t that dramatic, but it sounded good, right?)

First on the list of things I learned is the fact that Mr. Everything will talk to anyone about weather or politics.  I had a sneaking suspicion that this was true, but now I have proof.  The man talked to five different people today about the weather.  I have heard, “It was 85 degrees when we left home and 87 degrees when we got here,” five times.  By the last time, I considered standing behind him and mouthing it while he said it.  I could have acted like a ventriloquist. 

Then, there were the political discussions.  You see, I will do anything to avoid a conversation on politics.  I don’t care who you voted for, and I don’t care what you think about who I voted for.  I guess that’s because I know I can’t change your mind, and I am quite positive that you won’t change mine, so why waste the time discussing it?  I only have 24 hours a day, and I need just about all of them to do what I have to do.  Time is too precious to spend it talking about something I can’t change your mind about.  Mr. E sees it differently, though.  Honestly, I can’t tell you how he sees it.  All I know is that if you want a political discussion, he’s in, and it’s not even that he is all that political.  I think he just likes to talk about it.  He has now had political discussions with, count them, three citizens of Jamaica who know absolutely nothing about American politics.  Mr. Everything was thrilled because he found people who didn’t know anything and wanted to hear what he had to say on the subject.  For each conversation, I just rolled my eyes and walked away.  I couldn’t listen to it again.  It was too painful.

The next thing is something I learned what about myself.  I learned that a resort in not how I should vacation.  There is too much to do.  With a daily schedule that has 50 things or more on the list, how am I supposed to relax?  I have asked Mr. E what time it was at least 40 times today.  I didn’t want to miss that demonstration on underwater basket weaving, you know!  In order to relax, I really, really need to be dropped off on a deserted island with no technology and no clocks.  Then, maybe, just maybe, I would relax.  However, it wouldn’t last long unless I was placed under a good umbrella, because I am very pale and freckled.  I would be burned in a matter of minutes, and then I wouldn’t be able to relax because of the pain.

I learned that the Beetle does not need vacation at all.  The kid always says he doesn’t care what we do.  He doesn’t care where we go.  He just doesn’t care.  When we are out and about, he just wants to go home.  I have discovered that the same is true on vacation.  He really doesn’t care about all this activity.  He doesn’t want to swim.  He doesn’t care if he goes snorkeling or to the beach.  He doesn’t even care about the X-Box game room.  He just wants to be in the room, on the couch, watching TV.  If I throw some food at him every few hours, he doesn’t even have to get up unless he has to go to the bathroom.  I told him I was so glad we flew all this way for him to sit inside and watch the same shows he could watch at home.  He said, “Yup.”

The last thing I learned was about the Goose.  This could be the most valuable tidbit of all, and this is one that may forever change my homeschooling techniques.  I have discovered that the child will do anything, and I do mean anything, for points.  The resort has a point system that allows you to earn points for participating in activities.  What do the points get us?  We really don’t know.  We just know that if you have 150 or more points, you get something.  Before we heard about the points, the Goose did not want to participate in anything.  Then, after the points were announced, the child has done everything.

Yesterday, the Goose participated in Soca lessons.  What is Soca, you ask?  Well, it’s a form of Jamaican dance.  Picture the most African tribe inspired modern dance you can imagine, and you’ve got Soca.  Picture this.  Here is my little Goose on the stage with Jamaican employees (because no other guests cared enough about the points to participate).  They are showing her this dance and practicing with her.  I should mention her that the Goose comes from two parents who are rhythmically challenged.  I don’t dance.  It’s not that I think it’s wrong to dance.  I just know it’s very wrong for ME to dance.  Mr. Everything has even less rhythm than I do.  He can’t even clap along to a beat.  Honestly.  He’ll try, and the kids and I will grab his hands and lower them before he embarrasses himself, or, more importantly, us.

So, here is the Goose, on the stage, surrounded by Jamaican dancers.  She tried.  She really did.  The fact that I was laughing hysterically probably did not help her confidence level.  The lesson went on for 30 minutes, and the child stayed on the stage.  I was so impressed that she followed through with it just to get the points for a valuable prize (I’m picturing the leg lamp from A Christmas Story here, but I don’t think her prize will even be that good).  I’m pretty sure when we start back to school, there will be points involved. I can get her to do all kinds of stuff just for points!  Who knew?

The other thing I learned about the Goose is that the child is fearless.  I wouldn’t have gotten on that stage to begin with.  Then, once I saw what they were doing, I would have been out of there.  Not my child; she stood up there and did her best.  Then, today, when they announced that we could earn points for doing a reggae dance class, the Goose got up there again!  And today’s lesson was even worse than yesterday’s.  I stand amazed at her bravery.  I hope to be more like her when I grow up.   -Al



12/24/2016 7:52am

I loved that you shared your experience in Jamaica with us. It provided me with data that I needed for my trip to Jamaica next month. I think all of this data and information will help me out a lot in my trip to Jamaica.


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