It’s been said there are only 4 hard parts of traveling with your kids. The planning. The getting there. The getting home. and what’d I forget? Oh yes, the BEING there.
On any given day, my kids go to 3 schools and come home to various activities like soccer and dance. In the house, most often they are doing 3 different activities, there’s one kid on his ipod, one on the wii and one texting her friends. Or it could be the OTHER one on the wii, one on the computer and one building legos. I cherish Friday nights where most often we bring dinner into the den and watch a movie or show ALL TOGETHER. Sometimes we play games. And of course, I do kick them into the backyard for some whining, I mean, basketball or to have a catch . And for the most part recently, they bicker, they fight, they complain and they talk nasty to each other when we are home.
But something MAGICAL happens when we travel.
They actually become best friends again. Minus the distractions at home, and being that they are within an inch of each other in the car, we are again a cohesive family. Oh sure, they first 4 hours of the drive they fight ( just kidding, more like 2), but then they’ll play hangman or whisper and giggle or make up a car game. Of course airplane travel can be even more bonding with the presence of crazy people, I mean OTHER people, to watch.
Getting back to the car….so we drive and laugh and have been known to sing…well, that was when they were younger and how I cherish those days too. Wish I had a camera recording our utter nonsense on our many roadtrips.
Now that the kids are 6, 10 and 12, we don’t sing much , sadly, unless you count my daughter singer along to a Taylor Swift song and my son saying Shuddupshuddupshuddupshuddup until she does.
But then, the really amazing part starts. We get to the hotel or the theme park or wherever we are going and they practically are skipping, holding hands and laughing as we run in. Oh the feeling I get when I see them bouncing on the hotel bed together or sharing an ice cream or asking each other ” what ride do you want to go on next”?
It’s just pure happiness for me.
Of course, the tweens will give me moments of exasperation and “I’m bored’s and the 6 year old will find something to have a fit about. But in general, isn’t there something special about sharing 3 meals a day, about exploring a new place, going on rides, taking hikes, visiting museums, checking out zoos or aquariums and venturing around new cities that is just so much more than the sum of what’s around you. It’s what’s IN you too. It’s the feeling of being a family, a unit, a loving, laughing, sharing, smiling, adventuring group of people, bound by love and blood. What proud Mommy moments I have when I am not distracted by bills, what to make for dinner,dirty dishes,laundry and bedtimes.
So wonder not why I love to take as many vacations a year as I can.
I’ll skimp and save every penny I find toward one. And luckily as a blogger, I sometimes get free trips. Vacation time is complete freedom , wrapped up with hand holding and shared smiles that everyone needs to do as often as possible.
Pack the car, get outta here and go enjoy your family this summer. Yes, in one room the size of your living room , or in a camper or even a tent. Whatever you have to do. Go enjoy this time. And hopefully the kids will thank you one day for the childhood experiences you shared and maybe even pass it on to their families one day (when Taylor Swift songs will be “the oldies”)