OPINION: Just Like the Cotswolds

A beautiful country cottage with a thatched roof in spring time, The Cotswolds, Gloucestershire, United Kingdom/Shutterstock

I’m on vacation.

It’s a long one — so long, in fact, that I have no recollection of booking the trip or boarding the plane or even arriving at my destination. During this time, I’ve not only managed to take in some amazing views and meet some even more amazing people but I’ve also squeezed in a few moments to finish college, get married (twice), divorced (once), move (more times than I can count), and give birth — once, twice, three times a baby.

Yes, it’s been the luxury getaway of a lifetime, marathon reading The Very Busy Construction Site and researching novel ways to extract Cheerios from between floorboards. Me time, it’s been replenishing, what can I say? Like a walk in the park.

I, for one, always feel rejuvenated after a good half-hour of fifth-grade math or a refreshing soak in some dirty dishwater and I’ll pay extra (and have dearly) for not charging the Chromebook or carrying that 80-pound backpack in from my car.

Contrary to what some casual observers may think, I am not “eating bonbons”. I am not “getting a scalp massage” (although I do have a lot of dandruff lately and seriously, who doesn’t love a good bon-bon?). I am not “resting or relaxing”. I am not “bored”.

(Sidebar: These comments are most helpful from single women with no children. It’s not their fault. They don’t understand, sort of like watching Titanic and thinking you’d know how to steer clear of the iceberg.)

My vacation, it’s a bit of a shipwreck these days. Rest assured, if I could take just three things with me to that desert island, they’d start with ‘Pinot’ and end with ‘Grigio’. Have drinking games totally been invented around those daily COVID notifications lately? If not, they should be.

I love my kids, really I do. I just don’t always love parenting them. It’s the same way I love eating food but not necessarily cooking it, or buying books but not necessarily reading them. I have a lot, they pile up, well-intentioned and eager to inform, like so many cringe-worthy comments regarding my stay-at-home status over the years.

One day I’ll get back to reading (and showering) on a regular basis but right now my itinerary is pretty jam-packed, cutting crusts off sandwiches and tags off clothes, swapping room service for lip service and poolside for drool side, setting out on another safari for that missing sippy or (the cat ate my) math notebook. Should we form a support group now for survivors of Kahoot?

I am not on holiday but am happy to swap houses if you have something in the Cotswolds. If Jude Law could be included in this exchange, I’m happy to pay extra. Can he stop me in my tracks and tell me I look lovely? (I think I have a promo code for that somewhere …) And aside from the fact that I have oatmeal in my hair and poop on my shirt, I’m sure Jude and I could get pretty lawless if only he weren’t so incredibly accomplished and incredibly good looking and I weren’t so incredibly married.

But in the event you’re still not sold, I’ve created an ad for your perusal (at your leisure, of course). I hope you won’t find it too personal …

Come enjoy all the simple pleasures suburban life has to offer! Have you always longed for sleepless nights? How about long days filled with the monotony of mommy-ing? Lavish in loads of laundry, pontificate the poetic plight of poopy diapers, and renew and rejuvenate by refreshing your Facebook feed over and over and over again, while quietly deluding yourself that what you’re doing is actually social. In need of a little light reading? The Very Busy Construction Site is always available on loan and very user-friendly. Proclivity for board games? Fishing those Cheerios out from the floorboards is only a far cry from such classics as Operation. But not to worry, if a good workout is more your bag, we’ve got a sweet little 80-pound backpack with your name on it. You can always take it for a walk in the park. There are crusts to be cut and tags to be torn and a Kahoot group that Jude Law may or may not be facilitating (hopefully shirtless) somewhere in your dreams. Oatmeal hair treatments and soiled shirts included. You won’t be remiss. I’ll even throw in a couple of bonbons. Dates: Now to Eternity. Cost: Priceless. If you close your eyes, it feels just like the Cotswolds.

Columnist Lesley Kirschner grew up quiet, in the woods, and devoid of siblings so her hobbies quickly became reading, writing, and talking to inanimate objects. She also spent a considerable amount of time doing voice-overs for her dolls and watching too much daytime television–channel 3, sometimes channel 8, if the weather was good and the antenna wasn’t acting up. She was in attendance at school, graduated from a very much not notable college not worth mentioning, and was transplanted to Wilton with her husband, Ambler Farm‘sFarmer Jonathan and their (baby makes) three children almost a decade ago. Although she never quite found her calling in life, other than perhaps the doll voice-overs, which in hindsight were eerily convincing, she’s happy to try her hand at writing and is thankful for the support and community she found on Facebook’s Buy Nothing Wilton. Lesley realizes while this is all very exciting, she’s not winning a Pulitzer so she’ll wrap it up and be quiet. She’s had a lot of practice. 

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