tutus, Mersault, and just being enough.

There was a moment last week when I nearly broke down; tension bombarding my chest, emotions wading through my brain, tears burning my eyes with memory.  It took everything in my soul to keep the stream from breaking the dam I’ve created in my mind, one wrought with the ferved pieces of life I’ve tended to stash away over the years.  My walls are thick, y’all. 

I watched as my little princess danced the night away in her sparkly pink tutu, carefree and oblivious to the world around her.  The glean in her eye shined from the stage so brightly, like a distant comet projecting through the sky: even though a quick glimmer, the brilliant light is a travesty to miss.  My little girl was so happy.  And I was overcome with affection, caught between knowing true joy and the realization that I, too, am engaged in a delicate dance. 

  

The balance of time equity is fragile, with my heart and head generally pulling in three different directions at once, my body twisted and turned until my back is slammed against the wall.  The clock is ticking. Time will eventually run out.  Little girls will only wear tutus for so long.  

  

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: being a working mother parent is hard. The pressures to surpass expectations during the day, coupled with the self-imposed high standards of home life, (and don’t forget the ever-increasing societial squeeze of personal perfection!), can be almost too much to bear.  Something has to give.  And usually it’s me. Let’s just say my yoga mat is lonely, y’all. (chocolate, anyone?)

The sommelier often wonders why I have so much pent up jealousy for his work trips to France, Spain, or Italy.  In truth, these trips are actually work for him, but I imagine fields of vineyards against a setting sun, full of grapes waiting to be harvested, as if gentle waves in the ocean were washing against his feet.  I long to travel there with our tiny dancer, showing her the beauty in the earth, tasting the sour skins that will eventually turn into a favorite vintage of deliciousness.  And I know someday we will… but not now. Not yet. 

  

For now I close my eyes as I imagine the old chateaus of Beaune glittering in the sun, dotting the landscape with their bright tiled roofs. Beckoning. 

  

For now I sip on a Premier Cru Mersault from Francois Mikulski, the crisp, lightly acidic Chardonnay glides down my throat in anticipation of summer, the thin veils of melon mingling in the minerality of the region.  My palate is electrified. 

  

And suddenly I remember; knowing that I am doing the best I can, claiming my weekdays and time in the most productive way possible, while balancing zoo visits and enticing new foods on the weekends. I have to be enough. Just balancing. Teetering. Realizing that even though I may claim to be, I am not superwomanI, me, myself… have to be enough.  

 
And in her eyes, I am.  She thinks I’m a queen.  And that’s all that matters, y’all. 

Happy Mother’s Day.  Cheers.  

jaunting through County Kerry: a slice of tourist heaven.

Ireland has been an American tourist destination for as long as I can remember… of course I’m not quite 40 so it’s possible my memory is short lived. For what seems like forever, though, is this notion that leprechauns and pubs dot the Irish landscape, beckoning any American who claims to be any sort of Irish.  And so, just like all the other tourists, we found ourselves in County Kerry.

Technically, Dingle is also in County Kerry, although you wouldn’t know it by the vast change in landscape, and even the tolerance of the townsfolk. You would know, however, by the radio station, Radio Kerry, in the Kingdom of Kerry.  As we passed from the bays of the Slea Head Peninsula, through the sunsets of the Southwest coast, and into backyard of Kerry National Park, we felt a change in atmosphere.  We could feel it even as we breathed in the night air.

The town of Killarney is rotten with tourists: overflowing buses, bustling restaurants, and over crowded pubs displaying large busty signs that read “live music.”  Unlike the genuine nature of the bartenders of County Clare, the well tipped showmen of Killarney learn early to upsell, fake a smile, and cheer “slainte!” on demand.  The food is also less Irish, and more American in style (however late 1990s).

Within town center lives a lot of traditional Irish bands, mostly familial in nature, with at least one man playing flute.  Men. Flautists. Superb.

We relished in the masculinity. And the fact that most pubs had a second floor electronica dance club.

In the morning we found ourselves in front of Ross Castle, and lavished in the romantic possibilities of times past.

Staring into the gateway of Killarney National Park, we soon climbed into a two-seat cart being pulled by a horse named Sylvester. Pat, our guide, was well versed in the history of the area, the countryside, the republic, and the spirits of the grounds.  And there were many spirits…. especially in 12th century abbeys.

With large lakes, mountains, and green forests in the backdrop, we arrived at The Muckross House, a well known site for those wanting to explore Ireland of the 1800’s.

 

 

We strolled through the gardens and climbed back into the cart to made our way to the waterfalls.  The scenery was magnificent.

Pat sang the graces of the Irish clans and told tales of the civil war. My heart sang out to the nature before me, and right then I promised The Universe to spend more time outdoors, basking in the wisdom of Mother Earth.

 

 

 

 

 

Far too soon, Sylvester clogged his way back around the lush green countryside, and we found ourselves back where we started.  Alas, we were sad, as it was time to depart.  Afterwards, DJ Emils and I both agreed that the tour through Killarney National Park was one of our favorites thus far.

We avoided the Ring of Kerry and its tour buses.  Onto Blarney, however, ….. and other tourists.

Slainte.