Recently, an unusual phenomenon occurred in our family. I had two trips planned essentially back-to-back. One was a solo trip meeting a friend at a yoga retreat (amazing!), and the other was an awesome work event for Mad Dog (also amazing!). I was gone for four nights, home for two, then gone again for five nights. I think the boys actually missed me. I know I missed them.
That first morning when I was home for good, I was so happy to sit at the breakfast table with my guys. I got to catch up on all I missed and hear about their time with Grandma and Grandpa (thank you!). I, in turn, shared some of the cool things I got to see at the Arizona Biltmoreand talk about the people I got to meet. I talked about how fun it was to meet the spouses of Mad Dog’s work team. I had so many people pull me aside to tell me how awesome Mad Dog is. They told me how as a leader he requires a lot from them, but he is fair and always has their best interest at heart. I was blown away by some of the ways he has positively impacted people. As I shared this with the boys I said that not only were people pulling me aside to tell me how awesome Mad Dog is, they started telling me how awesome I am, too.
When I picked up T.Puzzle after his first day back from spring break, his teacher immediately approached me as I entered the classroom. I had to resist my fight or flight response. Oh, how I wanted to run away.
She said, “We asked T.Puzzle what he did over break. He told us he went to Africa. Of course we didn’t think that was true. We thought you would have certainly mentioned if you were traveling to Africa. Then, he kept going with it. When we asked him how he got there he said by plane. What did you see there? Giraffes and zebras. Where did you stay? He said he stayed at a hotel.”
Seems little mister had a whole array of imaginary African details. He had his teachers and even the director of his school convinced for most of the day that we had gone to Africa.
For the record, we did not.
I am amused and frightened by this all at once. Part of me is impressed a five year old could come up with such a believable, detailed story. Part of me is very, very concerned. Mostly I’m curious as to where we will ‘travel’ next.
Mad Dog surprised us with a little family getaway to Amelia Island. We packed a lot into our small trip and had an absolute blast.
As the Mom of two, gregarious boys, I realize that serene moments in travel will be few and far between. The best line of defense is a good offense. Therefore, it is all about movement. Keep them active and all will be well. If they are confined for too long they invariably turn on each other. That’s when you know it’s time to move again.
That said, we thankfully managed some calm here and there. However, there was a lot of sprinting on the hotel grounds. As we left our room yesterday the boys, in typical fashion, sprinted ahead of us. As we turned the corner to the elevators, they were nowhere to be found.
Guess who decided it would be awesome to ride the elevator to the lobby by themselves? Thankfully, a kindly couple waited and watched over the boys until Mad Dog and I caught up to them. The boys were so full of pride. At least someone was because I certainly wasn’t. Embarrassed much?
After a stern talking to and a serious warning, we hope that parent-free elevator rides won’t become the norm. Of course at some point I’m going to have to let them go by themselves. It might be awkward if I follow them around their college dorm elevators.
I was on the phone with a friend and before our conversation turned to more serious matters we discussed an interesting facet of motherhood. We are both amazed how quickly people who no longer have small children forget how hard it is to travel with them. They have all sorts grandiose ideas about international trips that include the extended family or they talk of cruises that last for fourteen days (fourteen days!!). What this would mean for parents with very young and/or very rambunctious children is entirely different than for a family or couple with older/calmer or completely grown children.
The thought of being trapped on a boat for fourteen days, and I don’t care how big it is, with my boys is enough for me to shout, “Woman overboard!” Imagining my friend traveling across oceans with her little clan of young kids makes my skin crawl with anxiety for her. Essentially this ‘vacation’ would simply mean she would be responsible for all her regular motherhood duties with the added bonus that her kids would be jetlagged and out their minds without their routine or familiar surroundings. Nothing international is worth this kind of stress. Nothing. Not even a George Clooney sighting in Italy would take the sting away.
So, the question is, how do people forget how hard it is? And please, if you know, share how to do so with me immediately.
It’s that time of year again. Mad Dog and I are setting off on our annual cruise. It’s amazing how much more patience you have for your children and laundry when you know in a few days you will be sailing across the ocean. Oh, and like I told my good friend, the prospect of unlimited champagne mojitos helps, too!
I will return next week and I’m sure I will have some stories to share. Thanks for reading my little blog. I appreciate it.