I remember preparing for vacations. I would work ahead at my job to make sure whoever was covering me wouldn't have to do TOO much of my work. I would pack a few items, knowing I could get whatever I REALLY needed on the go if I forgot anything. I would look forward to the time away. I would pack a book!
And then there's today...
Now, I have two kids. Vacations are a thing of yesterday. I still take time off work (if you can call writing, something I love as much as I do, work). I still go somewhere different. I often have a good time. But relax? Not exactly.
Honestly, I DO look forward to vacations, but they are not what they used to be. They are work. HARD work! Taking care of two kids at home is a huge challenge. Taking care of two kids on the road is next to impossible. If we forget something important (like the coveted Elmos that the little one sleeps with or the cup the oldest one insists on using daily, we are SUNK, Vacation OVER.)
When it comes to my girls, schedules are at the height of their happiness. They're much easier to deal with if they get to bed on time, eat at their normal times, rest in the afternoon and so on and so forth. So fitting in the fun vacation stuff around that is a the ultimate challenge.
Oh and then there's the actual traveling. Car rides with "I want to get out. I need to move." (At least we avoid the 'are we there yet' game. Our game is different!) This is largely why we have no gone father than my parent's house, which is only two hours away, in the last three years. It's just plain hard and often, not worth it.
So when someone recently said to me " I hope you have a relaxing vacation," I laughed. Hysterically. The only time I truly relax is when I'm asleep and even then, one eye is open and one ear is on. I pass out from necessity when I can no longer hold both eyes open.
To those with kids, you know what I mean. To those without, babysit for your friends with kids. They will be eternally grateful for an hour in which they might actually relax. Not to say that I don't enjoy time with my girls. As I've told many before, when I finally DO get away, all I want to do is get back to them and see what they're doing. Someday, when they're both in school, I will NOT regret the hours and hours and hours I spend with them everyday. I'll never say, 'gosh I wish I'd been with them more!' Cause they get all I have and all that I am on a daily basis.
That being said, I am leaving work behind for this week and doing my best to keep the characters that haunt me to write about them at bay. They can wait. In the meantime, the little one who needs her Elmo's cannot and so, I must now get back to my...well, vacation?