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Saturday, August 18, 2012

Anniversary Blog Fest: Chanta Rand


Fifty Shades of Blue

By Chanta Rand

I admit there are times when my teenage sons get on my nerves. Before the age of five, they were so adorable. They wore cute jumpers and said such profound things that I often stared at them, marveling at the perfect children God created. Then, the day they started middle school, they mutated into unrecognizable monsters. The cute jumpers turned into hideous wardrobe malfunctions. The profound sayings (lost somewhere amongst the pleas for tattoos and piercings) morphed into annoying slang, rife with subject/verb disagreement.

But no matter what technical difficulties we experienced, I could always threaten them with the promise of not going on summer vacation if they didn’t behave during the school year. Who wanted to stay at home when you could be in the comfort of an air-conditioned minivan whipping along at speeds of eighty miles per hour and singing Gene Autry’s “Back in the Saddle Again?” Those summer road trips were a family ritual.

So, imagine my surprise, when my husband informed me that he and I would be vacationing alone this year. His reasoning: we needed our privacy and some “alone” time. He backed it up by pointing out that for the past three years our two Millennials had been more concerned with re-tweeting and playing games on their cell phones than gazing at the brilliant browns of the majestic Grand Canyon or the rolling green hills of Pennsylvania.

Some parents might give their left eye tooth to have a week alone. But I freaked out. Leaving two teenage boys by themselves for more than eight hours bordered on insanity. My youngest son wanted to be a chef. What if he burned the house down while making his signature microwaved Dorito nachos? My oldest wrote poetry and rap lyrics. What if he ran away to L.A. to intern for P-Diddy? What if aliens invaded and took my kids back to outer space with them? Okay, you’re right–that’s ridiculous. P-Diddy would never let a kid intern without his parents’ permission.

To make a long blog short, my hubby and I ditched the minivan and instead, cruised the aquatic boulevard of the Caribbean. It was supposed to be seven days of glorious white sand beaches and bottomless oceans. I figure there must have been fifty shades of blue mingling in those frothy capped waves.

In the recesses of my sun-bleached brain, I kept thinking of the boys. By age fourteen, my youngest had seen more accidents than a traffic light at a busy intersection. In one year, we’d taken him on three trips to the ER for football-related injuries. If there was a catastrophe to be found, this boy would be drawn to it like gasoline to a flame! I imagined when I got back there’d be a plethora of urgent emails, voicemails, and texts.

My husband had no such delusions of sabotaging our vacation. He rushed into the azure waters at the first beach where we docked. Standing waist-deep in Poseidon’s playground, he beckoned me with a single flick of his forefinger. For once, not obsessing over how my extra ten pounds looked in my leopard patterned swim suit, I threw caution to the tropical winds, scampered across the soft sand, ran into the serene waters, and promptly cut the sole of my foot on a sharp rock hiding below the surface.

I’ll spare you the details of my profanity-laced reaction. My husband carried me to the beach’s first aid center (which consisted of Peroxide and a band aid). I got patched up, and when we returned to the ship, a wonderful customer service agent offered us shipboard credits or a refund to our credit card.

Needless to say, I spent the rest of the vacation watching my husband frolic in the fifty shades of blue. I thought the only souvenir I would be bringing home was a limp. But when my husband suggested I go shopping with the money the ship refunded us, it turned out to be the best vacation ever. And guess what? When we got home, the house wasn’t burned down. But two trees in our front yard were dead! What happened, you ask? Well, that’s a story for another blog.

About the Author:
I'm a writer of historical and contemporary African-American romance. I always try to educate my readers and teach them something they may not have known before. On the one hand, I'm a history junkie, spending a lot of my time on research and fact-finding. On the other hand, I'm a typical Pisces, drawn towards flowery words and exotic images.

When I'm not writing, I enjoy doing anything artsy (that Pisces thing again), including painting, designing jewelry, collecting Native American pottery, and indulging in my one true obsession - shoe shopping! I live in Dallas, TX with my wonderful husband and our two teenage sons.

Catch me on The Chanta Rand Show, my Internet radio show that airs Tuesdays at 7 PM CST on Blogtalk. To listen, dial in to 760-587-4063 or go to:

Find Chanta online at

Link to Amazon Page:


katsrus said...

I always had a hard time leaving my children no matter what. Think it's our motjer instinct. Love that you got to enjoy your vacation with your husband.
Sue B

Chanta said...

Thanks Sue. Glad to see I'm not alone!

Karen H in NC said...

Sounds like you had quite a trip. Parents taking vacation time sans children reminded me of a time when I was a kid of 10. My parents took me and my younger brother (age 15) on a week up north (anyone from Michigan knows what 'up north' means) leaving my oldest brother (age 17) home alone. No worries...Wayne was the older, more responsible child and could be trusted! Yeah! Right! When we got home, the house looked like a cyclone hit it. Didn't know there was that much stuff in our house! Nearly every room a total mess and the kitchen? Forget about it! Thanks to the raspberry pie he made, it took my mom about a week to get the oven cleaned out. Needless to say, that was the last vacation we took while the brothers were still living at home.

kareninnc at gmail dot com

Toni said...

Yes, that first time is the hardest! It does get easier and now my boys are both in college several states away. UGH!

Can't wait to hear what happened to the trees!


Kayelle Allen said...

I once missed a family wedding to ensure my three teenagers did not have a massive party while I was gone. Maybe I should've just partied myself!

Chanta said...

Karen, I'm so impressed your brother made a raspberry pie. Most kids stick to sandwiches! My mother-in-law once told me that when my husband and his two brothers were teenagers, they made a chocolate cake while she was at work one day and by the time she got home, they ate the whole cake! Now all of them love to cook.

Chanta said...

Toni, one of them is 17. The other will turn 15 next month. I told them for graduation, they are each getting luggage. Then, they can go on their own trips - but then I'll proabably worry about them even more.

Chanta said...

Kayelle, I know how you feel. Sometimes I think I'm punishing myself when I stay home to keep them from getting into trouble! LOL!

Ingeborg said...

All parents worry too much when they leave the kids. I would have visions of horror when they were left Worrying for nothing, they were just fine.

Chanta said...

True. I think it depends on the kid too. We were latch key kids. My parents left us at home when we were in middle school - but it was only for a few hours a day. And my sister and I were very mature for our age (or so we thought at the time). LOL.

Debby said...

What rotten luck! My friend broke her foot while on her honeymoon. That is just as bad.
debby236 at gmail dot com

Chanta said...

Yikes! A broken foot trumps my cut. I'm sure your friend's foot took a lot longer to heal. It's times like that when you need a vacation from your vacation!