My girls are in Costa Rica this morning.  That’s right: A girls’ weekend to Costa Rica, myself included, only myself now excluded.

Months ago, my friend Scott contacted me.  He is the real estate broker who helped Robb and me purchase our home, the one I now sold.  Scott is an entrepreneurial genius, and he and his wife moved south for a couple of years to launch a vacation hot spot. Scott and Tracy read every word from their resort south of the border, and they longed to do something to love me from far away.

“Tricia, if you can get yourself here, we promise you meals, coffee, wine, adventures, the longest zipline in Central America, and days upon days of rest.”

And in true Tricia fashion, I said, “Can I bring a couple of friends?”

By ‘couple of friends,’ I meant my whole collection of Tuesdays. Scott and Tracy are gracious and generous, and they said yes.  We bought our airline tickets, and they prepared a room with the garden view.

The girls and I have been counting our days, making our lists, Skyping with Costa Rica, saving our money and packing our bags.

But then, my life buried me just a little bit.

I spoke three sessions at a retreat last weekend to 150 women whom I now adore and brought home with me in spirit.

I got stranded in Chicag for that one extra day, which is a lot in the minds of little boys.  Every hour past the promised deadline is a notch on the belt of post traumatic stress.

I closed on Cherryhurst Lane, closing the door in many ways on many chapters.

I closed on my new home, though the buyers get it for two more days, so I’ll get my keys tomorrow.

I had carefully scheduled three days between the conference and the vacation, two closings before the trip, carpet cleanings while I was gone, movers on the day I returned, furniture delivery the day after that, and then a week of studying and finishing this quarter of grad school before I speak twice the following week.

That’s just a lot right there.

And here’s the thing: I think maybe I could have pulled it off.  I mean, it’s Costa Freaking Rica.  How could I not go?  With my girls?  I mean, my girls.  Come on.

I’ll tell you how a girl might have to change her mind: Two little boys.

I can handle a whole lot, as long as they’re okay.  But last weekend’s trip was their maximum.  Their fears were coming out in lots of ways:

One little boy was having R-rated dreams of horrible things happening to his mom.  Dreams that have him talking in his sleep, waking and calling out, and looking for ways to figure out what’s happening in his mind.

One little boy cried for two solid days, even after I had come home.  The release of his tension: she’s here; I can exhale.

“No more trips, please Mommy.  No more this week.”  Tears.  Tears.  Tears.

Sometimes you have to say no to something great so you can say yes to something even more important.

I said no to Costa Rica.  I said no to toes in the sand, international coffees that I’m told would change my life, waterfall rapelling, canopy tours through the jungle, and hours upon hours of my girls.

So I am home this morning.  They are on the beach with umbrellas in their fruity drinks.

The thing is: these are the girls who saved my life in the last two years.  So even if I couldn’t have gone from the early talking stages, I would have sent them. If ever a team of women deserved to run away together, I have a list for you.

I can’t say I’ll always make the right decision; I can’t say that staying home will always be the right decision.  But this week, I knew that I knew that I knew I couldn’t take an elective trip just for fun.  (A whole lot of fun.)

If you’re looking for a stellar vacation to Costa Rica, contact Scott.  Here’s his place.  Tell him I sent you.  You won’t be sorry.  Although I hear you’ll never be content with United States coffee ever again.

I’m going to go someday.

Dear Scott, thank you.

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