My feet are buried in the sand, as I lay back in a surprisingly comfortable beach chair. My belly is growing and now I can feel the baby tumbling inside. Laying there, I watch Mila running up and down the sand chasing waves. In the background there is an assortment of kites that are pulling along some, very strong-looking men in their boards. In between some interrupting cloud banks, the sun is shining strong in this Caribbean Island and I find myself surrounded by family. This unexpected trip to Dominican Republic was booked with less than a month of anticipation and it has brought most of my dad’s family together. Mark and Ellen, Jaxon’s parents, heard about our last minute Caribbean venture and joined in. Making Mila a very fortunate little girl, surrounded by four of her six grandparents.
My adolescent cousins spend most of their day looking at screens, sheltered from the sun, waves and paradisal beauty. My brother, Manuel, who is soon to become a teenager spends his time conflicted between playing with our younger brother Antonio, or hanging out with the big kids doing utterly boring screen watching. Mila and her little peer, my youngest cousin, Andres spend their time learning how this world works and being amused by every little thing. As this multigenerational mingle unfolds, my mind takes me back to my younger years and the more I remember them, the more thankful I am of all that I no longer need to think about.
In a very basic level, I no longer have 18 years of traditional education ahead of me. There is no need to learn simple math, world history or navigate what my parents will or will not allow me to do. I no longer need to ponder on grades, homework or what to wear to school. I could not care less about what my peers think of me, unlike when I was a teenage girl and more importantly, I no longer need to think about boys, suffer through any breakups or worry about what number of guys I could kiss before being labeled a “whore”. I have found my companion for life and no longer need to check out those sexy kite boarders who lay in the ocean by my feet or imagine who I will end up marrying. I no longer need to worry about who I will become “when I grow up” and most importantly I no longer need to answer that question for anyone in an elevator pitch-style.
I have found out I was pregnant and no longer have to think of “what if we get pregnant”. I have birthed a child and survived a first trimester, twice. I no longer have to worry about how my life will change once I have a kid and no longer wonder if my boobs will hang if I breastfeed my child.
Now life just seems to be unfolding as Jax and I together steer it the directions we want to go. We have grownup problems, such as paying bills, making sure we do not become too boring and a constant minimal fear that we are not succeeding at being awesome parents. It might be a mix of the ocean’s endless rhythm, fresh coconut water and the pregnancy that have my body in a hormonal low, but the questions that linger in my mind seem so much easier to deal with, then the ones I had 10 years ago. These new questions require actions and very little waiting for time-to-tell. For example, Jax and I wonder, will we be able to circumnavigate with our children? The answer is yes, if we make it work. Will we run a kickass women’s empowerment foundation? Yes, if we make it work. Will we end up living the Caribbean in a paradisal beach home? Yes. Will I ever act in a big budget film next to Eddie Redmayne? Yes, if I change the course of my life and dedicate it to acting. Will I ever write a novel? Yes, as soon as my life has less toddlers around.
Life just seems simpler, I’m thankful for that.
Tomorrow we head back to Chicago, leaving paradise and family behind. The departure would be a lot harder if we didn’t have such an exciting time laying ahead of us. We are closing on our pitch deck and soon Aaron, Delna, Jaxon and I (if I grow enough of a bad-ass personality) will head to the streets of Chicago and ask for our first round of funding for our company. It has been almost a year since we left our beach home in Saint Augustine to follow this venture, now we are ready to start showing it to the world. If we can secure some funding by April our next baby will be happily born in Chicago, if not, we are once again packing bags and moving, this time to Ecuador to birth and relax before figuring out our next steps.