Wednesday, April 8, 2009

April - Spring Fever Month

For all of my fellow-educators out there, either present or former, here are two words that bring a twinkle to the eye and a sigh to the lips: Spring Break.

The students always thought they were the only ones who looked forward to a week off. The poor teachers would sit at home with nothing to do, missing their students and wishing for school to hurry and reopen. Yeah, right.

Many years ago, my husband and I went to Florida for Spring Break – sun, beach, drinks with umbrellas, and each other. I had on my hot new shorts outfit when I walked out on the balcony of a fabulous room to admire the ocean. I dreamily leaned against the rail and heard a throaty, “Oh God, look who’s next door!” I turned, my eyes wide with disbelief, at the occupants on the next balcony and croaked to my husband, “Oh God, look who’s next door!”

Looking back at me were six teenagers, three of whom were from my homeroom and three others who stood there ogling. In one brief glance I could see pizza boxes and bottles everywhere. This was, I knew, a sure sign that for those kids Spring Break had begun, and they had settled in for some fun.

“Mrs. D. what are you doing here?” I was sure that her tone wasn’t meant to be hurtful, considering the circumstances. Then she jumped back, looked me up and down and said, “You have on shorts –and a halter top!”

“I’m on Spring Break,” was all I could weakly manage.

“But what are you doing HERE?!” I could hear the near-hysteria in the voice. More boys and girls emerged, making me hope that the balcony met building codes. “Yo, hi Ms. D! That the husband – or the boyfriend?” followed by a big wink and gales of laughter. “Hey, lookin’ good there with the pink shorts, and, whoa! a halter top!”

My husband moved up behind me, put his arm around me and kissed the top of my head. “You know what honey, I really liked the other hotel room better, didn’t you?” He then glanced at the group next door.

“Well, hey there, guys.” He looked down at me. “But if you know everyone and want to stay here, we can . . . .” There was total silence from the group next door. They were obviously too young to understand sarcasm.

It was one of those moments that made up for the crushing disappointment of seeing those kids next door. In full view of that audience, my husband had laid claim to me, to my attentions, and to my comfort. Was it spring and was I in love? You bet. Was that other hotel room still available? At that moment it just didn’t seem that important.

I managed to close my mouth then speak softly. “Yeah, I’m with you. The other place seems . . . quieter.”

I faked a huge smile, waved to the group, “Well, you all have fun and . . . be careful.”

Considering their youth and single-minded desire to get on with their break unchaperoned, they politely waved ‘bye and told us to have fun. Then there was another one of those heaven-sent moments that just seemed to be scripted. We were crossing the threshold of the balcony when we overheard one of the boys remark, “She’s your teacher? She’s hot!” Oh, yes, I challenge any woman to trivialize such a remark when it’s made unsolicited and within earshot of your husband.

It is years later. I no longer wear pink shorts or halter top; my husband, bless his heart, still thinks I look hot. And I still think he’s very sexy, too. Next week is once again Spring Break. I look forward to it – a quiet place on the beach, a good book, my umbrellas (one over me and one in a drink), and not caring who sees me have fun. I will walk on the beach with a few more bulges under the bathing suit. I won’t care if my hair gets wet while I romp in the waves. A martini will be in my beach thermos, and I will order dessert because it is vacation. If there are teenagers around, it is I who will pity them, because I know what it really means to enjoy life and to enjoy the person I have become. And if they are lucky, they too, one day, will enjoy life with abandon.

Life is meant to be enjoyed. Let your spirit reflect your true beauty. And let your exhilaration, your joie de vivre, come from within and envelope all those around you. Carry spring with you always, and love will surely follow.

18 comments:

Anna Steffl said...

What lovely, touching writing. And, oh so romantic. I'm in love with the image of your husband coming out to the balcony in front of the kids...now that is what it is all about!

Maxine Davis said...

Thank you Anna. That makes me feel so good!

Sandra Elzie said...

You go girl! I love your attitude!
As the saying goes about not getting older, just getting better, I, for one, wouldn't change places with the youth of today. You couldn't pay me enough to go back 20-30-??? years. You see, as I aged, I realized what was most important in life...and it isn't what the kids next door thought.

When you've spent decades seeing what works in life and what doesn't and making a few mistakes and cleaning up the mess afterwards, you appreciate it if you have that great guy...but you also appreciate the inner strength that you gain when you realize who you are and your worth.

Loved the post...loved the mental pictures. (Mine was red hotpants and my husband almost hit a guy when he put his arm around me. Oh be still my heart! What memories)

Sally Kilpatrick said...

Maxine,

Great post--you really hooked me with the story only to throw in some genuine romance.

As for teaching, I feel your pain. One of my former students just felt the need to send me an e-mail on Facebook to remind me that it's just for teenagers!

Sally

Sandra Elzie said...

Sally,

I cracked up when you said a student told you Facebook was just for teenagers.

I find it cute that they want to use Daddy's money or credit card, use Daddy's car, and then think Daddy shouldn't use THEIR internet spot. (like they hold the patent or something) Excuse me, but these kids today need to grow up. (lol)

Sandy

Marilyn Baron said...

What a beautiful post. I laughed at the beginning and then was really touched by your story. Sounds like it would be a good segment in a book.

Marilyn Baron

Susan May said...

Maxie,
Great post. I told my 24 year old (Yes, he still lives at home, but IS going to school) that my husband and I wouldn't be home on New Years Eve this year. "Where are you going?" he asked as if he should give permission. I told him Montogmery to a friends and that I didn't have to ask him before I made plans. Kids don't always see their parents or teachers as humans with lives outside of them.

Kelly L said...

Wonderful post. You have a graceful writing style, and I loved this story!

Darcy Crowder said...

Maxine -

Great post! I love the picture you painted of your husband coming out on the balcony...perfect.

I like to look at growing older as one of God's tender mercies - we may have to let go of those pink shorts & halter tops in the absence of firmer, youthful bodies, but oh what wonderful freedom and joy comes from learning who you really are and what this life is all about. :)

Thanks for the reminder.

Pamela-reader said...

Wonderful, wonderful! Thanks for sharing that scene with us! I love it and can really imagine your dismay when you saw them next door! Your hubby is great!

Tami Brothers said...

Eeewww!!! Too good. I can totally see you standing on that balcony!

AND I can totally see your hubby coming out like that. I probably would have stayed there just to spite the little twerps, but that's me...grin...

Great post, Maxine!

Tami Brothers

Linsey Lanier said...

Maxine,

After reading your post I almost felt like I was on vacation. Thanks, I needed that.

Love the way your hubby trumped the teens and made you feel like his lady at the same time. He must be a catch!

Great post.

Linsey

CiCi Barnes said...

Awwwwww. Such a wonderful hubby. Hang on to that puppy.

I marvel at how teenagers think they are the only ones in the world and the world was made for them.

Boy, do they have a lot to learn.

Great post, Maxine.

CiCi

Debbie Kaufman said...

Very sweet. Me, I'm driving with the top down!

Jill James said...

Maxine, what woman, at least once in her life doesn't want to hear she is hot?!? From a bunch of young men no less. And a husband who thinks you're still hot? What a lucky girl you are.

Ana Aragón said...

Maxine,

Your writing is exquisite. You paint a beautiful picture of what it meant to be young (and hot) and what it means today (and still hot...those flashes, you know!)

Life is meant to be enjoyed. While this spring break I spent moving and cleaning (oh, and watching college baseball, of course!) your descriptions made me long for July...when I'll hit the beach for a much needed break.

Ana

Rebecca Rivard said...

Maxine--
I loved your post too; I actually had to blink back a tear or too. Thanks for sharing!

Carol Burnside said...

I'd say your man is a keeper, Maxine. (Mine too.) I can imagine those girls were deep-down envious! How nice of him to give those young boys an example of how a man should treat his woman. :)