The things that will never make it in the baby books and other musings from a stay at home mom

Friday, June 17, 2005

Things I learned on my summer vacation

As we drove home today, the car filled to capacity with beach toys and baby paraphanalia, there was a moment when all four of us were cheerfully singing a song together. The sun was streaming in, the car was rolling along and everyone was happy. It was the stuff of my pre-parenthood parenting fantasies, I suppose, but in reality it just felt oddly scripted, like we were caricature characters in a badly written commercial for a family car or something. It was so frighteningly stereotypical that I actually turned to Paul and asked "how the hell did we get here?"

"We went north on the Parkway," he replied dryly, fully aware of what I was asking. And with that, I settled back into my seat and half listened to my family's off-tune voices as I reflected on what I'd learned this week:

1) There is really no reason to cram a tricycle into an already over-filled car when you are only going away for a week. The amount of sweat, energy and cursing that goes into the effort will be directly disproportional to the amount of use the tricycle gets. Sorry, honey. Thanks for humoring me.

2) Despite all fantasies and beliefs to the contrary, we are not kids any more. Not even close. We are as adult as they come. Only adults make lists, pack foodstuffs and eradicate all remnants of sand from rental houses before departing. And only adults wear Lands End tankinis.

3) Family vacations are for the kids. See entry #2.

4) It is worth going on a family vacation simply to see your children's joy. This sounds ridiculously trite and saccharine. It is nonetheless embarrassingly true. As long as you have enough perspective to recognize that none of this is about you, you can have a great time. Julia had the time of her life this week, and that was fun. Evan basically just ate sand. And that was worth a giggle or two as well.

5) Wise and worthy of emulation as I think my mother is, I'm afraid that she had this one dead wrong. A change is decidedly NOT as good as a rest. Not even close.

It's good to be home.


At 7:49 PM, Blogger Kristy said...

Aww... welcome home! Hope you had a great time. I know what you mean about it not at all being about "you" anymore. And there couldn't have been a more "perfect" place to drive home that fact for me than the beach. *My* summers at the beach? Sitting on my can, falling asleep in my beach chair, reading books for hours on end, listening to the waves lull me to the point of drool ;-)

NOT ONCE did a single one of those things happen to me while I was at the beach two weeks ago. How 'bout you???


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