Where's my shoe?

When my son was about a year old our family took a trip to Penitas Nayarit in Mexico. Penitas is the tiny village my husband is from. It's the real Mexico and not a tourist area at all, or at least it wasn't back then, 17 years ago. My son was rather fussy during the plain ride. I think his ears hurt and so did mine. We arrived at the Nayarit airport, a two hour drive from Penitas. My son, Daniel, was still fussy. It was an uncomfortable trip and the humidity was a new sensation for him. The airport was crowded and Daniel was tired and cranky.

We were met at the airport by many of my husband's family members. Uncles, aunts, cousins and nephews all showed up to greet us. Then we all piled up into the car. Yes, 8 kids, 1 toddler, 2 babies and 5 adults, all crammed into one pick up truck. Daniel was still fussy.

We arrived at our destination where my mother in law squeezed her grandson and showered kisses on him as he continued to kick and cry, trying to escape, still tired and cranky and now soggy with grandmas kisses.

The family showed us where the outhouse was and introduced us to Marina, the pig that lived out back next to the outhouse and let us know that Marina would be served for dinner in our honor. We were also shown the shower which was in the same structure as the outhouse but separated by a thin concrete wall. The shower was a large bucket of cold water with a smaller bucket for scooping and pouring.

We proceeded to the guest room where I brushed a giant spider off the bed as my Mother in law laughed and explained there were a lot more where that one came from!

I attempted to put Daniel down for a nap but he wasn't having it. At this point I was becoming cranky and frustrated as well. Nothing seemed to relax Daniel and we only had 40 minutes before the family was going to whisk us off to the beach for our first outing.

40 minutes of Daniel's squirming and whining and then we were off to the beach. We arrived and unpacked the family and food from the truck and found a beautiful spot under a shady palm canopy structure.

The spot was so beautiful and comfy but I just felt so uneasy knowing my son was in a bad mood and I seemed unable to help him. His cousins were obviously completely in love with him and giving him plenty of attention and love but he was still not content.

I chatted with family members and helped unpack our picnic as Daniel sat in the sand with his cousins. After about 10 minutes I noticed Daniel seemed to quiet down as he discovered the wonders of sand. I took the opportunity to kick off my shoes and find a comfy spot to take a rest from the long day. I closed my eyes and listened to the sound of the gentle waves and I felt the warm Mexico sun on my face. Daniel was finally relaxed too.

I opened my eyes to check on him and he was completely content with his new found discovery. He scooped up sand in both hands and let it slowly drizzle out into a mound. He continued this for at least 20 minutes!

We ate, played in the ocean, my husband caught up with family gossip... We had a really wonderful time. Then it was time to go back to the house to prepare Marina for the evening meal. No. I was not the least bit pleased about this.

Once everything and almost everyone was loaded into the truck I realized that I could not find my flip flops. They couldn't have been too far from where I had been sitting. Everyone was ready to go and I was still searching. The walk from the sand to the truck was going to be a foot scorcher without shoes! Some family helped in the search but we just couldn't find them. They were just gone.

My husband and father in law helped carry me to the truck so I wouldn't burn my feet. I figured it was just a mystery that would never be solved. I just could not imagine what happened to my favorite flip flops. Until! A month after we had returned to the states from our trip, we received a package from the family in Penitas. The package contained some dried shrimp, canned plums, Mexican candy and about 40 pictures taken during our visit.

There it was. Six 4x6 pictures of my son Daniel, drizzling sand on my flip flops until they were completely buried in the sand.

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