June 30 10

If I were building a dream vacation for myself, it would be really simple. At the end of the day, I am an easy girl to please. All I would need is some good weather, a beach chair, a towel, some sunglasses, a book, and ipod, and a cold drink. Occasionally, I’d like to stop to eat a meal or two and to cool off in the water. I’d opt for a pool over the ocean for this, since there’s the whole sand in the crotch factor. Yes, I am anti private loofah-ing. See? EASY.

But, you see, easy is not a word that comes into play when vacationing with the family. There’s absolutely zero ability to be selfish and just be all, “hey kids, go ahead and feed yourselves and apply your own sunscreen and reapply your sunscreen and I’m just going to lie over here and work on my book.” No, ma’am. It works nothing like this. It works a little bit more like…

Breakfast is served. Bowls of cereal poured, drinks gotten, doughnuts eaten, messes made, messes wiped up, dishes put in the dishwasher. Suits, towels, sunscreen applied. Gear acquired. You are ready to go and then someone has to pee. And then you get to the beach and you are crunching on sand and your feet are tired from carrying your youngest because she forgot her shoes and the sand is hot. You sit for a minute but then you are collecting seashells and before you know it you are chest-high in the ocean, pretending that it doesn’t freak you the hell out that you are feeling strange things swim past your legs and you just know there are hundreds of children peeing in the ocean and there’s a good chance you will step on something nasty like a fish head. Then you are collecting clams and watching them bury themselves back into the sand. Then you are reapplying sunscreen. Then you are tasting more sand. Then you are photographing your usually afraid of the water son being Fearless McGee and waterbending (whatever that is) in the water.

Lunch is served. Sandwiches are made, drinks gotten, chips eaten, messes made, messed wiped up, dishes put in the dishwasher. Suits, towels, sunscreen applied. Gear acquired. You are ready to go and then someone has to pee. You go down to the pool and Isabella needs her floaties. Josh needs his floaties. Everyone wants to go in the hot tub. Immediately you have the heebies. Emily wants fries. Josh wants fries. Isabella wants fries. Emily has to pee. Emily begs you to swim with her. Emily begs you to swim with her. Emily begs you to swim with her. So you do. Josh has to pee. (what happened to the days when kids used to pee IN the pool?) Josh wants to go back to the beach.

Shower 1, shower 2, shower 3. You go to dinner and pray that your children will behave. They don’t, because, well, they’ve been in the sun all day and they are exhausted. You make several trips to the bathroom, scarf down your meal, overpay for it, but you are just thankful to not be cleaning up more dishes.

You bring the children home and try to put them all the bed in the same room. Three hours later you finally sit down. You have a mudslide in hand, and you are ready to lose – gracefully – in Settlers of Catan against your husband and sister and brother and sister in law. You eat dessert you didn’t want to eat, you drink drinks you didn’t want to drink, you eat doritos you hadn’t planned to snack on.

You finally go to bed, and know that tomorrow will be a lather, rinse, repeat.

And you kiss three sun-kissed smiling faces. And you smile, because even though there were whines during the day, and far-too many trips to the bathroom, and too much sand everywhere and too much junk food and too much crying and too many messes and no rest for the weary, your three kids are having the time of their lives and are enjoying the dream vacation that they had dreamed for themselves. They are in Myrtle Beach, with their cousins, and their aunts and uncles and grandparents. They are eating ice cream and watching fireworks and going to the waterpark and getting to stay up late and seeing the Atlantic for the very first time ever. They are spending every single minute of every single day with their mommy and their daddy. There’s no homework or bedtimes or morning alarms or uniforms or having to wear anything but a bathing suit.

So, maybe I’m not living out MY dream vacation, I am smiling, because I know they are living theirs.

And I know they’ll remember it forever.

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  1. I miss you, Smurfette! And your little Smurfs too.

    [Reply]

    Comment by slynnro on June 30, 2010
  2. Your vacation tired me out, and I just woke up. But, seriously, I have a giant grin on my face, thinking about how special this time means to your kiddies and how they will remember this trip always!
    .-= Hilary´s last blog ..It’s just like riding a bikejust with your thumbs =-.

    [Reply]

    Comment by Hilary on July 1, 2010
  3. I’m not going to lie I had a hard time getting past

    “pretending that it doesn’t freak you the hell out that you are feeling strange things swim past your legs and you just know there are hundreds of children peeing in the ocean and there’s a good chance you will step on something nasty like a fish head”

    I am going to have the heebies ALL DAMN DAY!

    I’m glad you had a good time but I’m ready to have you back on my computer.

    [Reply]

    Comment by Jen on July 1, 2010
  4. Aw, you are such a good mom, Ali. Sounds like they are having a blast! (Also, when do YOU get a chance to pee?)

    [Reply]

    Comment by Amy on July 1, 2010
  5. Aww, I love this.

    Wish there was more that was for YOU, but I totally get where you’re coming from.

    Now hurry up and get home. I miss you.

    [Reply]

    Comment by Meghan on July 1, 2010
  6. what a great post!
    We’ll get YOUR vacation in some time this year.
    .-= Gav´s last blog ..Grilled Pizza with Ricotta Cheese- Fresh Tomatoes- Basil -amp Roasted Garlic =-.

    [Reply]

    Comment by Gav on July 1, 2010
  7. Awww, this is a great post! I’m glad you all are having a good time!

    I MISS YOU! COME BACK!

    [Reply]

    Comment by Kristabella on July 1, 2010
  8. umm i just got to say i love catan! except i can never graciously lose its always a bloody battle especially with my sibilings and when alcohol is involved!

    [Reply]

    Comment by Krystal on July 1, 2010
  9. Awww this is great! I know they’ll remember it forever, because this post made me remember my summers at the beach with the family. Priceless memories. Have fun and good luck!

    [Reply]

    Comment by Emily on July 1, 2010
  10. Totally agree!
    Been there, done that, and the memories last for the whole year!!!!

    enjoy all those little moments, they are all too fleeting!!!!

    [Reply]

    Comment by Sarah on July 1, 2010
  11. I remember the first time someone said, going on vacation as a parent is just parenting in different scenery. So very true. Kids enjoy it though and that is what matters.

    [Reply]

    Comment by Issa on July 1, 2010
  12. I am of the thought that vacations for mommies must be independent of their children. Of course those vacations involve a lot of phone calls to make sure the caregivers are doing everything on that list you left!

    [Reply]

    Comment by Brooke on July 1, 2010
  13. The whole time I was reading this it sounded exactly like the vacations I will be having this summer, and I’m on my own, my husband can’t go to any of them. When I get home, he says, why are you tired? You were on vacation. But when I got to the end, you are so right, we’re doing this for them. Thanks for the reminder.

    [Reply]

    Comment by Taryn on July 1, 2010
  14. Once in awhile hubby go away for 4 nights on a cheap gambling holiday. We don’t gamble though :)

    But we eat glorious buffet food, relax at the pool side and sleep in a king size bed without kids :) Last time we even got a hot tub in our room. Cheap holiday (Wendover) and nice break from the kidlets.

    Then I grit my teeth and plan another Disney vacation for the kids.

    [Reply]

    Comment by Poppy on July 1, 2010
  15. And that doesn’t even mention the drama of having the rest of the family around, too!

    [Reply]

    Comment by Avitable on July 2, 2010
  16. They will thank you one day. Maybe when they have their own sunscreen to apply and messes to clean and children to swim with. Nice work Mama!
    .-= suzanne´s last blog ..Hostess with the mostesswell- not really =-.

    [Reply]

    Comment by suzanne on July 2, 2010
  17. Way to package it with a pretty bow Martell.

    But I still want the beach chair, sandless underpants and frosty drink with teeny umbrella.

    Then I can look into Addie’s version of vacation.

    [Reply]

    Comment by moosh in indy. on July 4, 2010
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