Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Counting our Pesos

That's how Jenny, Steve, and I spent our evenings in Zihuatanejo, back in 1997, as we were beach-hopping from Puerto Vallarta to Puerto Escondido. After ice cream happy hour (two for one until 7pm!), wandering around, and breaking a sweat over air hockey, we'd wind our way back to the non-air-conditioned rooms and start stacking pesos. Jenny always, always, always seemed to find a secret stash of bills that bumped up her daily allotment. She'd say, "Now I can get that mask" or "We gotta go back so I can try on that shirt" or "I'm going to order camarones tomorrow". She fully loved every momentito, every detail of our journey.

I returned to Zihua a couple weeks ago, for seven nights, under dramatically different circumstances. I'd lost my Jenny I'd known for so long, but gained a new Jenny who will hopefully learn to love Mexico just as much. We stayed in air conditioned rooms and my budget was far more than 80 pesos a day. But still, every night, after I walked growly baby a few laps around the crib and plopped her in, after I guided Max through brushing his teeth with bottled water, I'd count my pesos. With each one, I felt my heart beat for Jenny, and break just a little bit. She'd want me going back to Zihua, I know, but she'd want to be there with me.

So I made her a secret promise about Mexico, one I'll post someday soon. I'm working hard on a project that is monumental, and that would be important to Jenny. As Jen always sang during Hercules in Espanol, "Amor, amor, no importa la distancia..."