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Family vacation

August 3rd, 2004 · No Comments

This weekend was the first time we have taken a family vacation using hotels and restaurants in four years. It is only our second family vacation like this. Calculations reveal that four years ago we were a family of three, our oldest and only daughter then barely two years old. A much different experience than asking three little girls to fall asleep in a strange place…

I associate hotels with marriage retreats. Before we had children, Ted and I would get away at least once a year for our anniversary. A hotel meant time alone with Ted.

Sleeping five in one room of a noisy motel by the side of the highway is not the same experience as escaping the world with one’s lover, cocooning on a wintry January day beneath blankets. There are now three extra people in the room and I found myself re-defining vacations and making new associations.

But, marital privacy aside, this first vacation as a family of five went well. The girls endured the car rides with good spirits. The older two are now old enough to enjoy “twenty questions” and play number-guessing games with each other. Abigail read books to Michaela. Saturday night we all had fish and chips (Michaela laughed to learn that “chips are french fries”) and we all shared a bucket of KFC chicken for lunch during our drive home. It’s great that we are at a stage of life where everyone can eat the same food: no jars of mashed mysteries and baby spoons required. We can go three or four hours on the road without someone needing a feeding or a diaper change or even a restroom stop. It may not sound like an accomplishment, but it is quite a change of pace from where we found ourselves only a year or two ago…

I came home surprised at how well rested I felt. I didn’t cook or do dishes for two days. Ted surprised me by driving all the way home himself. During our family vacation weekend I also slept at least ten hours a night. Sharing a room as a family means that we all go to sleep at the same time. So if the girls have lights out at 9 then we grownups do too. In forty-eight hours, I spent twenty-two hours in bed, resting or sleeping. Amazing. At home I would have slept half that time…

Ted and I agreed we enjoyed our family vacation. I know too that our years of relaxing together are numbered. Once the girls get busier lives, it will be harder to find the time to take together. I’m cherishing these years of little ones at home, of vacations as a family of five falling asleep in the same room…

…and I’m remembering where these kids came from…;-)


Tags: family