The Land of Enchantment / by Susie Lubell

I don't even know where to begin. How can I describe what a fantastic week we spent with my husband's family in Santa Fe, indeed the land of enchantment. And as beautiful as it was there (breathtaking really. If my husband could find a job there we'd move tomorrow) and as wonderful as it was to spend time with our family (yes, I actually adore my in-laws. All of them. Lucky me, I know) and as relaxing as it was to have lots of extra coverage when it came to watching the kids, what with aunts and uncles and grandparents o'plenty, my favorite part of the trip was my son. From the minute we left our house last Saturday morning he was transformed. He put away all of his anxiety and his quirkiness and his obsessions but for one or two instances (when he got his sandals wet on one hike and then cried about it until we got home and when we went out for dinner and instead of enjoying coloring his place mat he only wanted to hoard crayons) he was completely charming and wonderful. In other words he was only the positive manifestations of all of his personality traits. He was enchanted.

And he wasn't exactly hanging out in his comfort zone. He did spend plenty of time just playing at my brother-in-law's house but we also went hiking and soaked in hot springs and went bike riding and swimming and horseback riding. My son learned how to jump on the porch swing simply by TRYING a hundred times til he got it. Imagine that. And he rode a horse for the first time. And he hiked all over the place and played beautifully with my fantastic niece and nephew. He just blossomed in every possible way. We even went out for dinner one night while my husband's parents babysat the kids. And no one cried or whined or even gave a rat's ass we were gone. They were so happy just playing together, they barely noticed we'd left.

And the minute we got home the spell was broken. Back to whining and crying. Hopefully it's nothing a full night's sleep can't correct. Because I really enjoyed my Santa Fe son. In any case we have our memories - a few of my favorites:


Horsing around in Taos. I searched high and low for Julia Roberts to give her my card so she could fall in love with my prints, but surprisingly she was not touring the pueblo, having ice-cream down at the plaza or hanging out naked in the hot springs with the other local we met.



Killing it on the porch swing. Sometimes the 103rd time is the charm.


Small discoveries.