We spent our spring break on a trip to Mexico with four other Bloomington families that also have senior boys, now doesn’t THAT sound relaxing? I doubt that any sane person would read that sentence and not hear the sarcasm in my tone. Now couple that with the nervous anticipation of taking your sober son on a trip with his buddies who are for the first time of “legal age” and you will understand my careful diligence in picking the proper books to comfort me on this trip.
We were traveling in a group of 19, which sounds pretty daunting but actually could not have been easier. These families are some of our closest friends and the women are the kind of girlfriends you dream about. And the boys are the rough and tumble all American kids you would hand select for your son. But none of the other boys has had to face the challenges with sobriety that our son has faced. And so I looked forward to the trip with excitement but also with a knot in my stomach.
I threw my worry into book preparation. Of course, I over did it. I packed 7 books, but only got through 3. The three I read were of such a wide variety I almost cannot blog about them together.
First up was a 700 page book called “A little life” by Hanya Yangagihara that I still haven’t fully processed. Appropriately, it was a book about the enduring friendships. Aside from the daunting length it was a difficult read. The central character has one of the most difficult fictitious childhoods ever written about. It was kind of like a car accident. It hurts to look but you can’t help yourself. Nobody but my friend Lizzie will ever read this one. If you do, please message me.
Next I read a book by A.S.A. Harrison called “the silent wife” about a husband who is a committed cheater and a wife who is a perpetually in a cheerful state of denial. This back and forth narrative is being compared to “Gone Girl” and provided some dishy, witty relief from the “car accident” book. Eventually everyone will hear about this, read it and it will become a movie. I can almost guarantee it.
In between these two, I worked in a book for my Bloomington book club which was passed between us like a college boyfriend. And like those kooky old boyfriends from back in the day, was so forgettable that I cannot even remember the title.
These three books and these 18 other people kept me company for 7 days in Manzanillo Mexico as we watched the 5 boys enjoy their senior trip. They split off from us into the comfort afforded to longtime friends with lots of inside jokes and talk about nothing. From time to time, they would come back to the big family group while we read books and hung out at the pool or while we were eating a meal at the restaurant . To be honest these checkins were mostly for food or money. Yet sometimes I could see them checking in for a bit of family comfort or companionship. But mostly they experienced their own “senior shenanigans” that I am sure they will remember for life.
And I am proud, so proud to say, that my son enjoyed himself and as he self proclaimed on Twitter,:”I have NOT been drinking. I am still completely, absolutely, totally 100% on the #sobersquad.”
And so now we can chalk up “senior year spring break” as one more milestone on his path of a sober life. I am impressed that he did this all so gracefully and without incident. I am proud to say that he is becoming a role model for other kids.
Thankfully, that knot in my stomach has been released and we are onto the more pressing issues like graduation and planning a party. Woot, woot!