The kids and I just returned from a five-day whirlwind vacation to a lodge on a lake somewhere in Georgia, about a mile and a half outside of Atlanta, for a family reunion of sorts with my dad’s side of the family. Whew! That was a long sentence.
And although I was happy to arrive home last night to see Liam, get out of the car (we logged about 25+ hours in that thing), and have access once again to the Internet, I discovered this morning that I had a bad case of the post-vacation blahs.
The kind of blahs that happen when you wake up to ninety degrees of humid mugginess, but realize there’s no longer a lake in which to jump in and cool off. That there is no high quality leather furniture in your house upon which to recline and snooze while other people hold and care for your children. There are no other people to hold and care for your children. No sleeping in. No insta-Keurig-coffee-drinking while looking out floor-to-ceiling windows at the natural beauty that surrounds you. No walking with your sister for miles and chatting about whatever. No middle of the day boat rides. No family style meals and conversating with other adults.
Just some whiny-ass kids (whiny because they spent eleven hours on the road the day before and didn’t go to sleep until after ten, and woke up prematurely at six), and a home full of shit that needs laundering and unpacking.
Highlights of the trip (according to me):
- Using call signs Eagle One and Sparrow One with walkie-talkies among the two traveling vehicles.(Each time we stopped to fuel up, my lovely, but impatient father, would drive off to hit the road before all of the passengers traveling in our vehicle were inside and ready to go. Someone in our car would inevitably shout, “Eagle One is out! Eagle One is out!” Then, we would all have to clamber inside the car, buckle up, and peel out to keep up with my pops.)
- An early morning walk with my sister talking about everything. And nothing.
- A late evening solo swim.
- A village to help care for my kiddos while I was able to…wait for it…relax!
- Catching up with cousins I love and hadn’t seen in awhile.
- Watching my kids and their cousins and extended family play and interact together.
- No one drowned, wrecked, needed stitches, fell off of anything or down anything, cut or scraped themselves too badly, or got hit in the head by a wild-swinging golf club (there were many of these).
- Also, the ride on the road with six young kids went great!! They were super travelers!
The girls’ highlights (according to them, but with some editing and rephrasing by me):
- Eating Cinnamon Toast Crunch each morning for breakfast (they woke up earlier than I did and someone else always got them what they wanted).
- Lake swimming.
- Boat riding.
- Getting stung by a wasp (OK, this was definitely a low point for Nora, but still memorable).
- Having the freedom to roam between houses (and floors of houses), and pretty much do as they pleased with little adult supervision.
- Riding in a golf cart.
- Bathing in a giant jacuzzi tub that held four cousins and likely could’ve held two more!
- Eating Gigi’s birthday cake (we celebrated my dad’s mother’s 90th!)
- Watching movies in the car.
- Eating snacks in the car.
I had these grand plans to carve out some quality time with my oldest since she and I don’t get much bonding time at home these days, what with two needier little ones about. Instead, I discovered she didn’t really need or want much mothering from me (apart from the whole wasp sting thing). She and I would spot one another from time to time on the grounds while she was playing about, and wave wildly at each other, or offer big smiles. And that was it. Instead of being sad about it all, I’ll just be proud of the little independent person she’s become and becoming, and take the moments, large and small, as they come.
And, in the meantime, I’ll be busy thinking about and planning our next vacation. Because I don’t think we will make it on our own this summer, without another one or two thrown in over the next eight weeks, during which we can once again take advantage of “our village” and a setting more serene than that which exists within the walls of our own home. ‘Cause things are pretty wild and crazy here right now.