Wednesday, July 22, 2015

The Family Vacation

Wacky family picture

Sometimes I wonder if it's worth the disruption to go on a family vacation.  I'm content to sit here in my house and let the kids swim in our small pool.  They are happy to do that.  I'm happy to go on day trips and spend the day nearby.  The kids probably wouldn't mind.  I wonder if all the money and time and effort are worth it.  I think about the years past and all the trouble with public bathrooms and how one child won't go unless it's a private, single stall.  I remember whining car rides to our destination.  I think about the grumpiness caused by lack of sleep and the complaints about food because things just aren't as convenient in a hotel.  I think about the begging and crying and fighting.  It all makes me want to stay home!

Then I stop for a second and reflect.  I call to mind the fun and excitement, and the look in my kids' eyes when they arrive at these new places full of wonder.  I remember my son finally glancing up from his tablet to see the mountains in front of us and saying, "wow".

Go ahead and tell me that egg isn't creepy.  I dare you.
I think about seeing my daughter reel with joy over all the rides at the park especially the roller coaster, even though she assured me one time on that was certainly enough.  I fix in my mind the moments of her learning to swim in the hotel pool only to beam with excitement at how she learned a new skill.

I remember getting to laugh with my husband over the sheer ridiculousness of my children's behavior.  (Sometimes, I will tell you, this is the best option.  Even though the laughing might make the child mad, it throws them off a bit and laughing it certainly feels better than screaming.)

After that I consider my experiences as a kid going to new places and discovering new things.  I remember New Hampshire and how we stayed in the Seven Dwarfs Motel.  My parents may recall it as the craziest vacation ever, but I look back at it with great fondness.  I remember Story Land and even if it was raining, we still got to ride the train.  We rode the Yule Log at Santa's Village and saw the crazy old wolf man from Clark's Trading Post.

I remember how good the tap water in New Hampshire tasted because it came right from the mountains.  I think back at seeing the mountains and the flowing streams and being in awe the same way my kids were now in awe.

I remember our trip to Disney when there were cockroaches in our room and our hotel got rented out to another family while we visited family for a couple days.  As a kid, it didn't matter to me because everything else that happened far exceeded stupid bugs and dumb hotels.  I got to see Epcot in it's infancy.

I remember camping and how we had a three room tent, which was super awesome.  I remember burning my hand on a hot rock that looked cool to me.  I think about sitting around the campfire and sleeping on the ground.

So why do we do family vacations?  We do them because the good far outweighs the bad.  We do them because they are fun and mostly happy (even though the other hotel patrons just heard me yell at my kids for the ninetieth to stop fighting).  When the kids are young, these trips are not really "vacations" but memory makers.  They are full of stress and whining and cold showers and grumpy days.  But they are also full of magic and memory and fun and excitement.  Is it worth the effort?  Definitely.


  1. Great post. I do remember the cockroaches.....ahhhhh. Glad you have good memories. Thanks for shaing