The first time it almost happened was by the pool, husband dangling a giggling boy in mid air. Second was whilst packing up in preparation for Clearwater - a red moon night drive away. The third time, parents finally succumb to a tear or three. On aisle four of the grocery store. Dad started it. Walked to the crackers and threw me an apologetic look. I almost hold it together, sobbing softly till the eggs nearly fall splat on the floor at check out and I snap back to present. Soppy pair. In under a week I am taking our boy across the seas to London town for a little while whilst Dad carries on his humpy struts across his country. Faced with the prospect of a couple of months of one week stops, in chilly climes, or a stint back home with the promise of a commune, sorry, nursery for the boy and a little home comfort for the old lady, mama opted for the latter. Six weeks is not a life time, many are the parents who are faced with far harder sacrifices than this. We have been utterly spoilt for sixteen months, spending time as a family that most people only fantasise about. As a wise man told me, a family needs a base from which to spring board off of, and I think the time has come for me to address my irritating mid Atlantic twang in a town where the sun shines intermittently and the folk are obsessed with tea.
The last matinee in Palm Beach fell on Superbowl Sunday. Time for an impromptu party for the game before the night bus takes cast and crew to the next venue. Come five o’clock a group of us are on a last minute sprint around the aisles of the store all pre game jitters, impulse buy laden trolleys. By six o’clock I am elbow deep in Bimby, rustling up turkey tacos with meatball burgers on the foreman. Actors fill our bath with ice and beer, Sam haranguing them to enact The Three Pigs. They comply. Many are the Mariott guests who have been privy to the troupe’s improvised genius as Napoleon directs a medley of fairy tales poolside, hurling dialogue cues in his sprightly tones. The football game opens with star studded pomp, it’s rules something I fear will always escape me. Can’t even ogle the players like soccer because they’re wearing so much bloomin’ armour. Unless the whole long haired black greasepaint look is your cup of tea.
Jaw dropping luxury of the Palm Beach waterfront villas in our sun drenched past. Now we brave the windswept pristine beaches of the Gulf of Mexico. Till our return to reality the serious work of play – in my periphery Boy is jiggling from foot to foot like a restless imp to the manic crooning of Spike Jones and his City Slickers. Empty laundry basket over his head. His version of Puttin on the Ritz from dad’s show is something I ought to sell tickets for - if you’re into passionate interpretive tap that is. Husband meanwhile at opening night sound check, a sign on the call board warning that feeding or wrestling with the alligators in the lake next to the theatre will incur a $500 fine. Something to remember if I feel tempted to wrestle any of those world weary Londoners.