A Simple Life At Four Seasons

I suggested to G last night that we didn’t always need to be thinking about money. That yes, there was a certain amount of  pressure when it came to paying the mortgage, combined with the cost of raising four children – I was earnest with my plea. “You know, because, well, we don’t need a lot, we can live a simple life.”

And then G pointed out that we were sitting in the Four Seasons Hotel.

“No darls, you don’t need a lot at all – very simple.”

It was the weekend before last when we both realised we were free. Our first weekend off since sport began in November last year. With the end of baseball, softball, soccer and everything else in between we’ve almost reached the end of the school year. It’s hot, people are on the move, and we’re all on a countdown. G of course is still riding his bike, it’s becoming quite tragic, he’s now progressed to reading cycling magazines. The Middle Age Man In Lycra phase is now a daily ritual. It’s only a matter of time before I discover he’s shaving his legs. With the heat though, it’s strictly an early morning activity, he’s back in the house by 7.30am. We’ve arranged a couple of huge dinner parties to keep us busy, but this weekend was kept free for Henry Hotdog, it’s his birthday today.

I began asking our fourth little traveller what he wanted to do for his birthday a couple of months ago. He started with a bowling party, moved to a pool party and then it was something else. He couldn’t decide and there was a distinct level of disinterest. The truth was that he really didn’t want a party, it was me keeping the idea alive. And after I’d pushed for a list of names, and pushed for a invitation idea, and pushed for him to make a decision, I admitted defeat to G. “I just don’t know what it is that he really wants to do? But he doesn’t seem to want a party.” We sat him down one last time to ask.

“What would you really like. If you could do anything?”

He squinted, screwed up his nose, looked like he was about to say something, and then stopped. I asked again.

“You’ll say no” he didn’t lift his head.

We suggested he wouldn’t know until he asked.

“Can we go to Four Seasons?”

I started to giggle, the suggestion seemed ludicrous. G raised an eyebrow. And then when we considered the cost of the party, the cake, the friends, the food.

“I’m not promising anything mate but let me make a couple of calls.” G reached for his phone.

After a bit of wangling, and a family package discount, we decided we’d do it. It wasn’t only the birthday, there was something else that lead us to Four Seasons. With so many people on the move at the moment I almost feel like I need a bit of a reminder of what can be lovely about Doha. Yes, it’s freaking hot at the moment, but if you’re sitting poolside with a sea breeze it’s a lot more bearable.

The reason Henry chose Four Seasons was because of a visit we’d made three years ago for Christmas. He’s never forgotten it. When G rang and spoke to the Four Seasons staff he mentioned it was his son’s birthday “Oh that’s great Mr Bruce, which son’s birthday is it? Fred or Henry?” I guess that’s what makes them Four Seasons, customer service. When we arrived and Henry saw the cake they’d made waiting for him in the room, he declared it the best birthday ever. When he saw the Happy Birthday pillow, the movie pass, the popcorn, the everything, everything was the best ever. Over and over again G and I received hugs – this is the best birthday, this is the best one ever.

As we swam around what became known as the secret pool, the pool my children believed was just for them, their secret, Henry attached himself to my back.

“Thanks Mummy, this is the best, just us together” he whispered into my ear.

“Well aren’t we lucky you have such good taste.” I giggled.

“Can I have my birthday here in October?” asked the third traveller.

It appears they both take after their mother – a simple life (with the occasional weekend at the Four Seasons).

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