In Conclusion, I’m Moving to Tahiti

I have one child hissing right now because she’s been asked to give someone else a computer turn this afternoon, two hollering up and down the stairs because — STOP EVERYTHING — the TV remote is MISSING (!), and one who’s stuck on the toilet waiting for her sibling to bring her toilet paper which I’m pretty sure he forgot because he’s at my shoulder railing against the injustice of living in a household that’s out of his favorite cereal. It’s full on melt-down in these parts, and I should be helping everyone calm the heck down (by yelling, “GOOD LORD! CALM. DOWN. Geez.“), except I’m too busy having this conversation with yet another child:

“Do I have to take a shower?” asked the kid who just had his hair cut.


“I DO? But WHY?”

“So you don’t itch and scratch and get teeny tiny hairs all over this house and make all the rest of us itch, too.”

“Do I have to take a shower, though? Why can’t I just wash my head in the sink?”

“You have little itch-giving hairs all over your body, kid. Go shower.”

“Well, two times ago when I got a hair cut, you let me wash my head in the sink.”

“No, I didn’t.”

“Yes. You did.”





“You may THINK I let you wash your head in the sink, but I can assure you, I didn’t. I would not do that because that doesn’t work. Your imagination may be telling you I did, but read my lips. I. Did. Not.”

“Yes, you DID. And kids have better memories than grown-ups because grown-ups’ minds are packed with a bunch of stuff. Seriously, Mom. SERIOUSLY. Can I just get a wet towel and rub it on my head?”

“No. You can’t. You know what you can do? Shower! Now.”

“You said it yourself that kids have better memories than grown-ups, Mom. You did let me wash my head in the sink.”

“I did say kids have better memories than grown-ups, but I did NOT say a better memory means you don’t have to take a shower. So HA!”

“MOM. Pleeease.”

“Why does it matter so much to you?”

“Because it will be faster.”

“Oh. My. Gosh. If you had gotten in the shower at the beginning of this conversation, YOU WOULD BE DONE BY NOW, CHILD. Go. Take. A. Shower.”

“I know how to make you pass out.”


“I know how to make you pass out, Mom. Pressure points, you know. I saw it on a show.”

“Go take a shower.” And then, in low, possessed, dragon voice, “Goooo. Take. A. Showwwwwer. Right. Nowwww.”

He took a shower. I think the red laser beams coming out my eyes and the way my head rotated in a complete circle convinced him.

In conclusion, friends, I have spent the last hour researching islands we can move to, and I’ve picked Tahiti.

Upon arrival, we shall be greeted by our fellow momrades with bright smiles and laugh lines and soft, weathered skin and plumeria decorating wavy hair that falls freely down their backs.


And we will sit at the feet of the wise mamas who will hold our hands, and pat our heads, and say, “There. There.”


Our Village shall be made of lovely, rustic huts on pristine water, and we shall run to and from each other’s houses with coffee and tea and fresh squeezed juices in the morning, after we waken from peaceful nights of sleep, and we shall pass around daiquiris and gin fizzes at sunset, while we sit outside with our feet swinging off the dock and share bits of our souls.


We shall skinny dip and chunky dunk in the moonlight, and we shall recognize the deep and abiding beauty in each one of us while we laugh loudly and freely and long.

Attractions-Hotels-2We shall talk about how it feels to be underwater, and our momrades will remind us we sometimes walk on it, too, because we are messy, yes, and we drown all the time, but we’re also miraculous and magnificent and rise above, every day. Both/And, friends. Both/And.

And one day, after some sleep and some rest and some very trashy novels; after lounging and laughing and learning to breathe anew; after eating and drinking and feasting on friendship; we’ll wake up and realize we miss our other, pesky paradise, and we’ll pack our straw hats and flowing sarongs and head home.

Probably. 😉

In the meantime, friends, from my room in Oregon — the one with the chair full of laundry, and the unmade bed, and toy the dog dismantled, and the children fussing from All the Places — I bid you a lovely Tahitian holiday. If only in our minds.

Sending love and magic in the midst of the mess,






All pictures are via Tahiti Tourisme which allows photo downloads. Portrait credits: Grégoire Le Bacon. Tahitian Water Village credit: Philippe Bacchet.

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14 responses to “In Conclusion, I’m Moving to Tahiti”

  1. So, here I come to rain (ahem) on everyone’s dream parade, only listen ladies: I have just returned from Tahiti and am counting my lucky stars to be back. The people are certainly as lovely as you envision, and the set up as serene, if only it hadn’t rained the ENTIRE duration of our 9-day stay. How quickly you would happily trade back for your everyday routines and errands when the only thing on the agenda (basking in the sun) isn’t a viable option (seriously, boredom sets in). Let us learn to love our messy lives, or at least double check when the WET SEASON in Tahiti is. (Also just specify Bora Bora maybe, since the weather there seems wholly more reliable and the woman on the plane home sitting next to me who’d spent two weeks there had the most tauntingly gorgeous tan I’ve seen.)

  2. OH MY GOD I JUST had a ridiculous argument with my son about the necessity of him taking a bath. I too had to resort to head-spinning freaky-eyed Mama in order to get reluctant compliance. My husband’s comment when he came downstairs, “I’m not sure what all that was about, but I think he needs to work on the yes-mom thing.”


  3. Yes! Yes! This isn’t huge but last night had planned to grab something in the kitchen for hubby then sneak back to bed with him to JUST LAY DOWN. But of course the 9 year old was too quick for that and wanted a snack and time to read our Ramona book. I told hubby I was tired of momming and wanted to be done. I seriously wanted a grass hut right then. But seriously who can resist Ramona? (A fellow Oregonian by the way)so we read and I survived without the hut as usual. Love reading your stuff!

  4. Wait, Beth.
    Five kids is a lot of kids, but you’ve got six now?

    One hissing, two on the stairs, one in the loo, and one without TP OR cereal…
    And “yet another child,” who is clearly historically yours.

    “One plus TWO plus one plus one…”

    Waving in the dark and getting a “Clue,”

  5. I have pictures of St Lucia stuck up on my kitchen cupboard doors. I am not getting back there for a very long time but looking at those pictures have calmed me in moments of crisis.

  6. HA! I just told my Karen K. that I have never needed 3 weeks on a beach more in my life than right now. Next writers retreat in Tahiti???

  7. I am living the dream – on the beach in a beautiful country, where chunky dunking au naturel is a given.

    But very underwater today… after my eldest darling girl seized and lay on the bathroom floor not breathing for 45 seconds that seem like hours while I pounded on her chest and screamed into the phone last night.

    She’s ok, according to blood tests form the hospital; neuro consult pending. Took about 10 years off my life, those 45 seconds did. Blood and gore, broken bones sticking out, I can deal with and stay calm as a judge, no problemo – but when they AREN’T BREATHING it’s so scary.

    I made her leave her bedroom door open all night so I could possessively check on her every hour after we got home around 3:30 in the morning. Still haven’t really slept.

    Last night in the middle of the terror I was so grateful for our translator/tutor and dear friend who rushed over to make sure we were OK with the medics there. I didn’t even find out until we were about to climb in the ambulance that her beloved former student, a brilliant, sweet young man of 19, had committed suicide only a few hours before – yet she set her shock and grief aside and rushed to help us.

    The EMTs, the ambulance drivers the nurses and doctors and translators last night were all SO KIND – I am repeatedly awed by the way they treat us and remain ashamed by the knowledge that if our positions were reversed and they were in the US with lack of common language they would likely not be treated as well.

    I’m waving in the dark from our own beach tonight – humbled and grateful for the kindness shown to strangers in a strange land. Just wanted to share. I know I’m usually sly and snarky, but I don’t have any of that tonight – just bone deep tiredness and gratitude and happiness that my baby girl (who isn’t that much of a baby at 16, anymore) is still alive and safe and we have the best of people in our lives to remind us humanity isn’t hopeless.

    <3 <3 <3 <3 <3

    • Holding you in the light. Had my first big seizure at 20 and got everything under control with meds eventually, but it’s scary stuff. Hang in there, mama.

      • So far so good! Waiting on neuro results. Blood tests came back fine. Could have been a weird perfect storm of stuff, causing a one time incident – certainly what we are hoping for! Thank you everyone who was kind enough to comment!! <3

  8. YES YES YES YES YES!!!!!!!! Oh, and YES!

    Tahiti is exactly the place my bff and I say we are running away to. So count me in!

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