Okay– I admit it.  As a parent, my ethics regarding my children’s attendance at school are, at best…



When Chicken was in middle school, I took her out of school during Valentine’s Day, because for her, it was an emotional bloodbath and I’d rather have her come to school with me.

When my kids were sick, I stayed home with them– yes, sometimes costing me the price of a sub out of my paycheck–because I didn’t believe stuffing them full of Tylenol was the way to go.

I’ve missed work to travel cross country, and once missed the week of prep before school started to take my kids to Disneyland.

So really, the fact that Mate and I took the kids to the ocean on the Sunday before Labor day– came home two days afterward–should surprise nobody.  You’ve seen it coming, right?

And yes, I know I should feel bad about not preparing my kids for the real world, but I gotta tell you.

It’s taking a while for the guilt to set in.

See, that first picture is Pleasure Pizza.  Now, if we’d actually been there during the weekend, it would have been nutzo, because it’s the best pizza place in Capitola (which Mate’s iPhone pronounced caPEETola, to our everlasting delight.)  But no– we went there around eight o’ clock Monday evening, when there weren’t many people out at all, and we got all of the yummy slices to ourselves!  (They take the slices off the warming rack and put them back in the oven, and the crust is crunchy and delicious and the sauce is to die for and… it looks like a hole in the wall.  DON’T MISS IT.)

(The third picture is Zoomboy, looking well groomed as always before we left the hotel.  I particularly like that he’s wearing my jacket inside out.  Yup. We teach responsibility.)

The third picture is from the half an hour we actually spent at the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk– when Mate was stuck in traffic.  We were just going to skip the whole arcade experience, but I grabbed the kids and took off, since the car wasn’t going anywhere.  Anyway, it should have been no big deal, right?  The kids win a couple of tickets while we’re waiting for Mate to text?  And then Squishy TOOK OUT the big bad guy in the game and won 500 tickets.  Which we had to wait to scroll out.  And then put in the counting machine.  And then negotiate for the prize.  And then ZB didn’t have enough tickets for a prize, because Squishy, who has benefited MANY times from ZB’s generosity, totally blew him off to get the stuffed tiger, so we had to all play for tickets so he could have something too.  And then, after Mate texted, wondering where the hell we were, they had to negotiate custody of the stuffed tiger the whole way to the car.  I told them we’d seen that sitcom plot on too many shows to count, but they were sure they could manage a three day split that started at midnight, every night.  Kids.

That was Monday.  Before the boardwalk we left the hotel to visit with the lovely Miss Julianne Bentley, who took me to visit her yarn store, and I indulged, and after the boardwalk we managed about an hour of beach time that night before taking the kids to pizza.  And damn– that’s a pretty full day if I say so myself.

Tuesday was my favorite day– we went to the Monterey Bay Aquarium, and it was perfect, as always.  This time, we got the backstage Aquarium tour, and the Sea Otter tour, and we went and saw Tentacles, the cephalopod exhibit, and in general it was…


For one thing, it was Tuesday.  Our kids were practically the only kids in the aquarium who spoke English (lots and lots of European travelers– was very cool) and the crowds were thin enough that we could see about anything that caught our fancy.

The Sea Otter tour was awesome– the guy in charge was an expert on the critters, and for a young guy he had a plethora of jokes and knowledge.  The program had become sort of special– right now the Monterey Bay Aquarium only takes female sea otters, and they use them to surrogate the pups they find abandoned.  The five girls go in rotation, and when one of them is acting as a surrogate, they’re isolated from people.  Their tenders wear “Darth Vader” ponchos, masks, and gloves– they don’t even talk in front of the otters, so that the pups don’t imprint on humans.  It’s pretty awesome, because they work very hard at getting as many otters back into the wild as possible.

Anyway– the fun part of all of that was that as we were taking the tours, the guides were asking my kids questions– you know, those leading questions about stuff?  Well, my kids were the only two on both tours, and they knew all the answers to all of their leading questions.  The adults were like, “Wow! Great!” and then they gave us some more in depth facts because they didn’t have to explain the basics.

Of course after the tour, we went to Bubba Gump Shrimp Company because tradition, and this time we got to sit on the patio with the surf underneath our feet and (oh bliss!) the overcast, 68 degree day above.  I know.  It doesn’t sound wonderful, unless you’re at the beginning of September and have been living in Sacramento during three years of drought.  It was awesome. 

And don’t ask me how these things happened.  They’re pretty wonderful in themselves.

Anyway–during our last morning we tried to go to the beach and ended up at a surfer’s beach at CaPEETola, which was cool to watch, but not so fun to try to walk around.  the ground was mostly rocks and the tide was right up to them, and frankly, none of us were up to scrambling around the rocks.  A surfer had passed by with a cut on his foot, and the big blotches of blood only seemed to confirm that we were trespassing on holy ground, and this was not our turf.  Seriously– we save our blood for the soccer field, which is why we returned on Wednesday afternoon. Mate has a game on Saturday– he couldn’t go without coaching, right?

Anyway– It was a lovely long and lost weekend, and I felt much better about facing work today (yes, I love my job, but even I need a break.)  I did skip a regular blogging day, and Amy’s Lane is a couple of days late, but you know?  I feel like a better writer and mom.

And the school?  They did my lying for me.  “I’m sorry– Zoomboy and Squishy Lane will not be in today or tomorrow.”  “Oh, I hope they feel better.  Bye!”


Not a lie passeth my lips.


And I feel compelled to remind people that the second installment of Beneath the Stain is out tomorrow– Friday– morning.  Don’t forget that the bonus content is only available through the serial version and the serial is only available through Dreamspinner Press until the whole thing is released on amazon.com and allromanceebooks.com on October 17th.  So, you know– get it while you can, even if you’re not planning to read it until every segment is released!

So far folks have loved it! Don’t forget to visit the FB page, Amy Lane’s Stained Angels, or to visit Laura Adriana’s song lists from the second part!  

0 thoughts on “Hooky”

  1. Unknown says:

    I LOVE IT, Amy! The Dane and I used to pull the kids out of school for the Oestara, Mabon and Samhain campouts. No, not one bit of guilt because by the third year of our doing so, their teachers pretty well knew that I'd be taking their homework with us, PLUS they got a pretty neat essay on whatever the kids found fascinating that campout. Family First, Always.

  2. PattiAnnie says:

    I think you are doing a perfect job of parenting. The children are happy and loved. Those days are so important. And they learned lots about otters. All good stuff. xxx

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