I've thought of many ways how to approach my blog posts regarding vacation. I could give you a run down of how each day was, what we did, how excited the kids were, how much fun we had, etc. I could write a book about the whole process of finding a place to stay, packing, loading, traveling, arriving, settling, sleeping, playing, and eating. That's all well and good and some of you may enjoy it, though I think most would skim the writing and look the pictures (which aren't that all spectacular because my SLR broke the first time I tried to use it, but I'll talk about that later).
I think that I'm going to share it a different way this time around.
I think I'm going to approach this vacation storytelling from a perspective of a Mommy. And not only a Mommy, but from a Mommy who sometimes thinks she's still a kid but realizes that she isn't and that she really is a Mommy.
As I packed MY bag to get ready for vacation, I brought with me 4 books: a pre-school science book my dear friend lent to me (after I bemoaned about trying to find things to do with the kids at home), Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen, some random Debbie Macomber book and Stepping Heavenward by Elizabeth Prentiss. It was a strange collection for me to bring yet I was really under the impression that I would read through 2, maybe 3 of these books while on vacation. I envisioned sleeping in, lounging on the beach with my hubs and kids, taking a dip on the pool, reading, and overall relaxing. Though I had a touch of all these things, it was not at all what I expected.
Even though we brought a small amount of toys, we still had sharing issues, the boys still pooped and peed in their britches, we prepared meals, the TV was still on, the stuff we had to schlep down to the beach was monstrous, the kids clung to us in the pool, the laundry was endless, etc. I was disillusioned by all the R&R I thought I was going to be able to do. For the first day or two, I was wondering if this was really vacation.
When I woke up to Patrick's alarm the morning after our first night at the beach (at 5:30!!!), I was ornery. Very much so. But my husband has come to love the early mornings and he wanted to continue waking early, reading and exercising while on vacation. I didn't realize that. I guess this nixed my idea of sleeping in because shortly after the alarm sounded, Evan woke with poop every which way. And shortly after that, Ethan and Mallory awoke raring to go.
After Patrick read, jogged and showered, we got ready to go to the beach, which took an hour in and of itself with sunscreen, bathing suits, towels, toys and the like. Then the sand was everywhere. EVERYWHERE!!! There was lots of screaming and crying out on the beach, mainly from Evan, but all 3 kids had some sort of fear of the ocean. I was on the verge of imploding.
I felt down that first day. I realized that I wasn't going to have things the way I had envisioned. There was not a lot of joyous family playtime, towering sand castles, lounging on the sand, reading quietly or resting for long stretches of time. It was normal life, but just on the beach.
I honestly have to say that first day was not fun. I was internalizing the fact that I was no longer a kid but an adult with a lot of responsibility. Even on vacation, I still needed to be as selfless as my current role as wife and mom already required of me. I figured that while on vacation, I could have a break from being a servant and be served. I also figured my kids would understand that I needed a break and they weren't allowed to pester Mommy while on vacation because hey! I was on vacation too!
Why was I so disillusioned? Why did I set myself up for disappointment? Why was I so...so...SELFISH???
But, during the course of the week, my perspective and my life changed. I didn't plan on that. God chose to sanctify me in the midst of my my selfish sinfulness. After that first morning of having a cursing-under-my-breath-because-I-couldn't-sleep-in attitude AND after realizing I was going to be waking up early every morning with my kids in toe, I realized that this was a good thing.
Because I got to see this every morning:
And I got to share it with them:
"His brightness was like the light;
rays flashed from his hand;
and there he veiled his power."