There are no Beards in Paradise

Yes indeed.  Everything has a beginning and everything has an end, and sadly, our vacation has come to an end.  I am writing in the car on my laptop computer.  I have eighteen hours to write this article, that is how long our way back to Texas from Colorado is going to be.   In these long road trips while you’re heading to your vacation the trip is always like… Look! A river. Look! Flowers everywhere.  Look! A canyon.  Of course, on the way back, the trip is more like… kids, can you please be QUIET?  Stop bothering your sister NOW!  Any more yelling and I swear this time I will take away your Gameboy for the rest of the trip.  Mom, it is not a Gameboy, it’s a Nintendo Switch!… this last comment makes me feel 150 years old, so, keeping up this old hag feeling, I put on my ear pods, nonverbal language directing … No one talk to me please. 

I look at the board on the car.  The temperature sign keeps creeping up.  We got an alert on our phones that tomorrow, the day we will arrive back in San Antonio, the temperature will beat the record of heat this year with a high of 104, and a feeling of 110.  That is more than if you dunked yourself in a steaming jacuzzi, for the love of God!   I am as still and quiet as a vegetable, poor Juan, I am the worst companion on this trip.  I cannot speak, I am busy with my own thoughts.  My mind, like a ruthless butcher, keeps reminding me that in only two days the awful, feared, terrible, homeschooling will begin again.  Nobody can console me.  I know what I am headed to.  I know that the next months I will spend all the hours of the day sitting down and supervising elementary, middle and high school lessons.  I, the worst student of them all, the one that never understood math.  My patience thins out more and more every day.  Lord, have mercy on me in this valley of tears….that was a prayer or something, right? 

Lately I have read books telling stories of wars.  Since this Pandemic began, I have read about four of them. Stories of World War One and Two, the Spanish Civil War.  Deep down, I realize that it is a mechanism of my subconscious mind, to help me feel like my worries are nothing. It is a wonderful tool, by the way, a very effective one.  But at the same time, a phrase of the movie Like Water for Chocolate comes to my mind,  the part where Nacha in her wisdom says to Tita while she sheds her tears into the cake batter… “Only the pots know the boils of their broth, but I can imagine yours…”  My heart goes out to all those mothers that have to homeschool these coming days. 

Anyway, such is life, my dear friends.  Today I have no pearls of wisdom to contribute to the world, not one.  I only share my sorrows… I can just offer you my torment, all wrapped up like a little gift.  So, if it does no good for you, don’t even open it, just leave it there, sitting on a couch. 

We are almost arriving at one of our stops.  Great Dunes National Park.  If we had done this stop on our way to Colorado, I would surely have described the marvel of the view, the beauty of nature, blah, blah, blah… but since we are on our way back and my soul is heavy with the tsunami of homeschooling that is heading our way, I think of looking at myself in the mirror and putting a little bit of makeup on, so at least I look nice in the pictures.  I reach for a small mirror I have in my purse.  What?? When did I grow these two little beard hairs on my chin? Why had I not seen them before?  For the simple reason that until this morning I was in Paradise… and there are no beard hairs in paradise!   But for now, my poor mourning heart knows that we are heading directly to 110 degree hell, of hours and hours and hours of virtual learning, of putting my whole life in pause until further notice… So I better gather all the patience that I have, I better gather my strength, I better get a good pair of tweezers… because if I am sure of anything at this point, ladies and gentlemen, is that the party is officially OVER!

Regina Moya, day of the dreaded return.