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

Thursday, June 08, 2006

List-free (in 2007)

One year ago today, in between frenetic acts of disorganized packing hysteria, I posted this. A year later to the date, here I am once again packing again for the same annual family pilgrimage. "I won't even need to write an entry today," I laughed to myself as I sat down at the computer today. "I can just re-use the one from last year!" My laughter wasn't exactly the happy kind; I've felt like I've just been treading water for months now, and the realization that it's been an entire year and nothing has changed in my life just seemed to confirm that feeling. I opened up last year's entry fully expecting to come face to face with undeniable proof that time really is standing still these days.

Then I actually read what I'd written a year ago.

Lists? I had lists? Huh. No lists this year. No gear, few toys, just enough foodstuff to get us started. I can't even imagine what the "extras" I was referring to last year included, and I'm equally unclear how there could have been enough of them to merit an entire list. We'll be leaving the tricycle behind this year (I learned my lesson), and things like booster seats are a thing of the past. In fact, I've really got no plans to bring much of anything with us other than some clothing, some linens and lots of suntan lotion. I may be doing the same things I was doing a year ago, but I'm doing them in an entirely different way this year.

Looking back, I can't help but feel a little superior to 2005 Me, the Me of Many Lists. Did I really need all that stuff or did I make myself crazy for nothing? Either way, I am determined that 2006 Me is going to be a relaxed, happy, list-free traveler. None of that silly "make it and check it twice" stuff for me this year, no more making my entire family crazy as I run around like a mad woman trying to fit every single thing we own in the back of a Nissan Murano. I'm going to bring some things that I think we'll need on vacation. Whatever we forget, I'll buy when we get there. Whatever I can't find, we'll do without. It just doesn't matter.

Perhaps, ever so slowly, life is moving forward after all. Maybe, just maybe, there will come a day when a trip feels like a vacation again. It won't happen this year, that's for sure. But my sudden certainty that such a day will actually come some day has me humming a very different vacation tune this year. In looking back, I guess I'm finally looking forward a bit. My family and I? We're apparently all growing up a little after all, and it feels good. Damn good. But before I get all smug about my growth and development as a mother and a person, I need to find a pen. While I was re-reading last year's post and feeling so good about the subtle changes a year can bring, I also realized that I really ought to toss some sippy cups and some Children's Tylenol into the car again this year. I just know that I'm going to forget about them if I don't write this down somewhere. And now that I'm really thinking about this, it wouldn't be a vacation without Trivial Pursuit... Oh, and I'll definitely want to make sure the video camera's charged...

How much could one little list hurt?


At 6:36 AM, Blogger Gretchen C. said...

Don't worry about not moving forward! What you've got is stability -- and sister, I could do with a hell of a lot more of THAT in MY life.

I envy your bravado in casting aside the lists. I'm keeping MY lists, though; I think at this point if I tried to pack for a vacation without them, I'd arrive at my destination missing essential items like bras, toothbrush or kid(s).

At 8:24 AM, Blogger Kristy said...

I'm not usually one to try to "one up" my friends. But, today, I can't resist.

I, too, am packing and preparing for the same summer beach vacation. I have yet to make a single list. And, as my husband is out of town and is flying directly to our vacation destination instead of returning home first, I am not only doing this list-less, but ON MY OWN.

(I'm also doing it in the snow, up-hill, and barefoot)

At 9:45 AM, Blogger Steph said...

You're definitely way ahead of me on this one. I actually have a "travel checklist" saved on my computer that I print out and refer to each and every time we go anywhere. I will say that in recent trips that I haven't needed to refer to it quite as much. I just don't quite trust myself to get it all there without my trusty lists. :)

Good for you! And, have a great time on your vacation!!

At 2:01 PM, Blogger Jennifer said...

I vacilate between being Crazy List Lady and Crazy No Plans lady. The constant is the "crazy" because when I over-plan it's insane and when I don't plan it's insane in an entirely different way. If you find a happy medium, please share the secret! The third child has pushed me more towards the "wing it" camp though. I am stupidly proud of the fact that I've never once carried a diaper bag for him. ;)

At 1:57 AM, Anonymous chelle said...

I am with Gretchen, stability would be a great thing. I cannot imagine being in the same COUNTRY next year at this time!! *sigh*


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