My family is wrapping up a week at the beach.
Before we left, my husband was telling a single friend in his 20s about our vacation plans. We’d be packing up tons of stuff and driving too many miles with 4 children to spend a week at the beach. The beach is not exactly an “easy” vacation destination with kids: sunscreen for 4 (plus their parents), swim diapers, more sunscreen, pool toys, gear, lugging gear, more sunscreen. And sand everywhere.
Single guy’s reaction? “That doesn’t sound like a vacation.”
It’s true: going on vacation is a lot of work. My husband and I are both happy homebodies; we like to be at home, and we have kids who love routine. So it’s sometimes hard to think that all the work related to going on vacation can actually be worth it.
I have this innate idea that vacations should be easy, and effortless, and stress-free. Maybe one day, but our week at the beach with four kids hasn’t been anything like that. Vacation is work, and it will take me a week back in my own bed to catch up on the sleep I lost on our vacation, from kids who go to bed on central time but wake up on eastern, like clockwork. (For the math- or time-zone impaired, that’s an hour less, every night–for eight days. Ouch!)
Getting things to go smoothly on our trip was hard, and took a lot of effort, and perhaps a little stress. But I’d like to think that the memories we’ve made are worth it. And as we head home from the beach and re-enter normal life, I want to remember this vacation lesson. Some of the best moments in life are completely serendipitous, but many require careful planning–and hard work.
Like last night. We piled the kids in the car and took them to the gelato shop, at their bedtime, for the all-you-can-eat weekly special. Between us we tried every flavor except banana. (Yes, I am the blogger who wrote that post about being healthy. Well, not last night, we weren’t.) Everyone had tons of fun, sampled all the flavors, relished staying up an hour past normal bedtime. They were flabbergasted when I said they could try four flavors. Or seven. Or nine. That’s soooo unlike their normal healthy mom!
Now, if I’d only had my camera. (But, that was a little too much work!)
What’s something you do that’s hard work, but worth the effort?