My husband and I have just returned home from a “babymoon”. A babymoon is a trip taken before the birth of your first child, to celebrate and enjoy the bliss of time spent alone, together, for the last time in perhaps a very long while. Our babymoon was wonderful, yet wrought with challenges on many levels.
Saturday we arrived in sunny Puerta Plata, Dominican Republic, after a smooth airplane ride. We caught a taxi to the all-inclusive resort we were staying in, and marveled at the lush country side, and wild driving of the Dominican. Upon arrival we were told they had upgraded our little hotel room, to a residential suite. We were given two bedrooms, a living room, kitchen, and two balconies to play with all week. We had a meal while the concierge took care of all of our things. We explored the expansive resort, with it’s long stretch of private beach, many pools, and large main buffet.
Sunday we were told there was a welcome party for all guests in the evening. So we sat by the beach during the day, delightfully exempt from all excursion sales pitches due to my ever growing baby bump, and at night we got ready and attended the resort-wide party. This was our first taste into the “new dimension” of vacations. A world of luxury, mob-scene “gourmet buffets”, Vegas style dancers, techno music, and fireworks. It was a bit overwhelming, but we went along for the ride.
LOVE binds and builds us.
Monday, first thing in the morning, we were recruited for a sales pitch. What was the product you ask? VIP membership in the “new dimension”. My husband and I have been through this before. We in fact own a small timeshare, and use it to frequently to travel. So we have gotten pretty adept in knowing the sales pitches, and politely refusing them. So after a tour of all of the places in the resort we would not be allowed to go unless we were VIP, and after pointing out to our sales rep that we were about to be quite financially strapped what with baby and all, we were dumped on the “all guests” beach and left to our own devices. Pete and I discussed our preference for smaller vacations, do-it-yourself style beach and mountain excursions, and non-luxury, simple hotels. I felt a joy that I had married a man who has the same salt-of-the-earth qualities in him that I possess, and yet strangely defeated by the “new dimension” of vacationing that I would never be privileged enough to know. We spent Monday evening quietly talking in hammocks over looking a clear blue pool. We talked about our baby, and how we would raise him to know and appreciate the finer things in life, like hard work and camping trips.
LOVE conquers hate.
Tuesday. We were glad to have survived the sales spiel. We planned to spend the rest of our days quietly relaxing on the beach. We settled into beach chairs in the shade, and cracked open our books. Moments later we were approached by a young Dominican man, dressed in resort uniform, offering to sell us a massage. He asked where we were from. “Oh, Boston, have you heard about the terrorist attacks?”….Umm, no. He hesitantly informed us of what he knew of the Boston Marathon bombings. He tried to find information to show us on his phone, but on the beach wifi signal is limited at best. He apologized for being the bearer of bad news, and left us without ever completing his sales pitch. I went in search of some information, any information. I found an article in a small copy of the Miami Herald. I brought it back to our beach sanctuary, read it, and wept. My husband did the same.
As we sat stunned by the little information we knew, my husband and I both tried to process the news. I felt consumed with an overwhelming sense of sadness and fear. Sadness for the families affected by the incident, fear for myself having to take on the enormous task of bringing a child into a world so filled with hate, and being responsible for teaching them how to love, how to not be afraid. I searched my mind for ways in which I could respond, ways in which I could help this community, this humanity, overcome the awful acts that just seem to keep piling up day by day. My husband itched with similar overwhelm, so we decided to head into the ocean. Water therapy, salt, and sand, and crisp blue waves to wash away or at least ease all of our emotion. We floated and clung to each other in the gentle waves of the Dominican sea. We vowed to teach our son not only to enjoy what we view as the finer things in life, but also to love. To love all above hate. We felt sorry for the men who had committed this act, sorry that their hearts were so filled with hate, sorry that they had probably not known the love they needed to feel peaceful in their lives. We committed to the work that we do, teaching others in whatever way we can that love is what will bring about a revolution, love will eventually change this world we live in.
Wednesday. We finally settled into a routine, we finally enjoyed a day of peaceful, undisturbed time together. We enjoyed the shade of the palm trees, the ocean air, and the mostly decent food being served at the buffet.
Thursday. My insides began to protest the mostly decent food. We still enjoyed the shade, and switched to the calmer waves of the pool, and I tried to be more careful of what went into my body.
Thursday night, a rager of a party was being thrown to welcome all the new VIP members to the “new dimension”. Techno music blared so loud the resort practically shook. My belly shook as we walked by, in awe of the glitter painted men and women on pedestals. We quietly walked back to our room, who’s concrete walls also shook. The music did not end until 11:30pm. I quietly cursed the new dimension.
LOVE heals all hurt.
Friday was our last day on the island. And we spent it much the same as the days before. Lazing in the shade, protecting ourselves from the harsh sun. But by Friday night I had had enough. My belly still in turmoil, my senses on overload from the spring break atmosphere, and my skin hot with what little sun it received, I barely made it back to our room before curling up in the fetal position and aching to come home.
Peter gently wiped my head with a cool washcloth. He made me camomile tea. He set up a stool in the shower so that I could sit while the water ran over my body. He rubbed me with my vitamin E oil and tucked me into bed. I again felt such gratitude for this man. For his unyielding, unselfish love for me.
LOVE is all you need.
Saturday. Our babymoon complete, we journeyed home. We arrived at 11pm to the comfort of our bed, our cats. Now it is Sunday and we are recovering from our travels. We are both going about our day, enjoying cooking our own nourishing food, and tending to our own work. I sit here with this blog written, knowing that it is perhaps more personal than some I have written before. However I share it with you openly, and honestly, because that is how I like to live my life. I share with you my story and experience of Love, because in these days after tragedy, when we a reeling from an act of hate, I believe we need these stories of Love. We need these personal moments, and connections, shared openly for all to see, that it is Love that binds and builds us. It is Love that conquers hate. It is Love that heals all hurt.
Love is all you need. So please, go out and share your stories of Love, or take the time today, and everyday, to create new ones.