Trip vs. Vacation

Don’t hate me because I’m writing this from the beach.


Okay, go ahead.


But before you move on, let me paint my picture for you, because I want to give hope to mothers everywhere who are still taking “trips” rather than “vacations” when they try to travel with their children.


That used to be me.


I will never forget that first major “vacation” Hubby and I took with our two kids under two. We were going only an hour and a half up the hill to Lake Tahoe. But not only was our Ford Explorer filled to capacity with diapers, toys, strollers, baby food, baby supplies (there is not enough room here to list everything, so I’ll stop now), we had to buy a cargo carrier for the roof to get it all in.


As we were pulling out of the driveway I asked Hubby, “So are you excited for our first vacation as a family?”


“This is not a vacation,” he growled at me, “this is a trip.”


And for years to come we would have many more trips.


But as I sit here on a deck overlooking an Aptos beach on a glorious 90 degree day, a cold beer at my elbow and BBQ sausages on the grill I’m looking over at my children. Watching them contentedly throw a ball around after digging in the sand for sand crabs and playing in the surf for hours, I’ve realized – I have finally arrived.


It is truly a vacation. There is relaxation. I can sit for long stretches without having to entertain, district or hover over my children. The balance has finally swung in my favor where it is actually more fun than work now to try and take a holiday with the kids.


And the only reason I put fingers to keyboard at this very moment is to give myself an electronic pinch that this moment is reality and not fantasy. That there will be a record somewhere that this is actually happening, because I thought it never would. I also want to give my comrades in the trenches of motherhood a ray of hope, that those dark days of trips will one day dawn into a glorious, magnificent vacation.


Actually, really, as I’m hoisting another beer, I’m indulging in the fantasy that I am a New York Times best-selling author and this is how I write my novels.


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