Friday, May 21, 2010

Traveling Companions

Today we're BlogTrotting Together! Visit the BlogTrotting site to read about favorite vacations.
Here's my contribution . . .

For parents of very small children, there are no vacations . . . only changes of scenery. I've shared this deep thought of mine on several occasions, and I think it's true. You pack all the endless stuff your kids need and head to your vacation destination where they still need to be fed, dressed, rested, and supervised. I'm not complaining, really I'm not, just acknowledging that my old idea of "vacation" is not a reality right now. These are not the years for me to read novel after novel at the pool or beach, eat relaxing meals at restaurants, shop at my leisure, and take responsibility for applying only my own sunscreen. Those years will come again and who knows how I'll feel about them when they arrive.

These are the years for me to witness my children jump in waves, gain confidence in the swimming pool, explore new places, build sandcastles, enjoy the freedom from (or at least flexibility with) our regular nap and bedtime schedules, play putt putt for the first time, and--best of all--enjoy 24/7 time with the cousins, aunts, uncles, and grandparents they love so much.
These are the years for watching the joy and enthusiasm they bring to everyday life become heightened as their sense of the world and its gifts broadens through travel.
These are the years for tucking scrubbed, pajama clad, slightly sunburnt children into strange and sandy sheets, exhausted by sunshine, wonder, and play.
These are the years for remembering to take the time--a week, a moment--to be grateful for our family's journey.
These are the years for rethinking "vacation."

I've had many great vacations, NTB, and don't know that I would want to choose a favorite. Here are a few images of my children (pre Sweet P) and nieces and nephews from our Hilton Head vacation in 2009.


The beach was beautiful, but at the end of the day--at sunset, if you will--the traveling companions truly make the trip.





12 comments:

Merri Ann said...

After a fairly exhausting day recently I said to my husband, "I need a vacataion ... no kids, no dogs, no you ... just me and total silence." My oldest daughter started to cry and said she wanted us to all go together. So after making amends, I told her I was just joking (well ... sorta).

Vacations are sooo much work for us moms ... and unfortunately, we remember what it was like to sit on a beach with a book. Alone.

But like you say, watching how much joy they are having in all the new adventures is really worth all the hassle .. and we are really going to miss it when they are grown.

kenz said...

Oh my I have heard about those pics of all the kids, but had not seen them yet.....too stinking cute!!

msh said...

claire, on modern family, referred to their trip to hawaii as "a business trip". that will be my new phrase for our family vacations. but good reminder, too, of the wonder of it all. really, we are quite lucky.

Actchy said...

NTB, but we're going to St. Martin next week for five days without Acey as a much-needed "babiesmoon" (Babies' Moon? Not sure how to phrase it when expecting twins...) I have to admit I'm astonished that I'm not more upset about leaving the little man, but instead am delirious over the idea of sleeping past 6:15am.

Stacia said...

Thanks for the reminder to enjoy the sand in the sheets and everywhere else it ends up. Because you're so very right that these are the years. And they will go by so, so fast. =>

dusty earth mother said...

Gorgeous kids, Mep. Almost makes you never want to take a vacation away from them. Almost.

sheila said...

Beautiful pics!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! And for the record...it doesn't get much better when they are older. I'll let you know how it goes with a vacation during the retirement years, lol.

Miss Welcome said...

I love the idea of putting all the kids in white and khaki outfits. Gorgeous pics!

Sara Plays House said...

LOVELY post and I think you've captured vacationing with kids PERFECTLY.
Sidenote: We went to Hilton Head last year for a wedding and it was gorgeous. Props to you for getting a photo of so many kids! And they're all looking the right direction!
Thanks for stopping by today--love your blog!

Sue and Randy said...

Thanks for reflecting on this topic--I get selfish sometimes when it comes to "me" time--but the "we" time will fly by! Especially when we live far from siblings, these vacations/business trips/family gatherings will make all the difference in their future relationships with each other. We did Wis. Dells with my sisters' family in February and are taking a huge family cruise in December--I have a more positive outlook thanks to your post!

Just me... said...

Thanks MEP...Sue (and her loyal husband) need all the encouragement they can get to get back here to Chicago a couple of times each year with 2 little ones. Fortunately, the "cousins" now ask for each other on a regular basis...so it makes that part even more fun!

The Empress said...

Oh, what a lovely group shot.

Perfect sky, perfect sand, the white of the waves breaking with the white of the shirts..lovely.

 
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