One of my favorite phrases in a pop song is "soul vacation" in "Drops of Jupiter" by the band Train. I'm on one, and I'm not sure if I will ever return ...
"To Frekkia and back," my four-year-old said with a smile that involves her entire face.
"To what," I said assuming I had simply not heard her correctly.
"To Frekkia, it's a new planet, it's further than the moon," she said with an even wider grin.
"Oh," I said, nodding my head.
She was obviously replacing our catch phrase of 'I love you to the moon and back,' with 'to Frekkia and back.'
"It's far, really far. It's ten whole days away," she said this time with a very serious look on her face.
I think the conversation actually went on for about thirty minutes. We talked about everything from how you get to Frekkia to what they eat there. It's a conversation I would never have the time or patience for in my real life, but during a "soul vacation" anything is possible.
Today, I taught my oldest daughter how to ably paddle in a two-man kayak. Her father taught her how to power-up and drive a small motor boat. She is also now expertly handling major swells in the ocean with her boogie board after having several days of nothing but practice.
Sometimes I read while I watch her; at other times I simply watch her. I admire her strong, athletic seven-year-old form refusing to be held back by large waves, which swallow her in one bite.
But there she is again, her skin the color of maple syrup in her neon surf shirt, doing battle with the white foam curling over the end of her board. Her long, wet hair fans out in the water like a mermaid in a Disney movie.
We go to the beach throughout the summer on occasional weekends. We also spend a lot of time at the neighborhood pool, but for some reason, I can never truly let go for long enough to enjoy the beauty of these moments like I can on an extended vacation.
Sure, there are the trying moments — like when the four-year-old doesn't wants to leave the beach and her older sister refuses to get out of the water. Or when I serve them chicken nuggets again from the local greasy spoon and they refuse to eat anything but ice cream.
But the positive moments far outweigh the negative detours.
In short – I've got too much garbage in my head on a regular basis, I'm simply too distracted to enjoy these moments that I know will be gone before I can read one more e-mail on my Blackberry.
I've got to figure out how to get rid of the junk and focus on the joy. Maybe I'll take my family and move to Frekkia – now that's the best idea I've had all day ...