Monday, August 1, 2011

Get Ready, Get Set, GO!

This weekend we took a day trip to beautiful Lake Michigan with some family members.  We are planning on camping next week, so it was a good trial run for us - figuring what gear we need and how the baby handled the car trip among other things.

I've never been the Mom who was good at spontaneous acts of adventure.  I've always admired those who, at the drop of a hat, can pack up 4 kids in a car and take off on some fun trip or other without breaking a sweat.  In fact, even well thought out trips give me plenty cause for panic.  As a result, we haven't really taken any vacations as a family - unless you count our fairly frequent treks down to visit my husband's family in Virginia.  I always came up with an excuse - I was pregnant this year, or had a baby that year.  There are too many kids, too few of us.  Supplies are too expensive, I forgot to make a reservation.  Always a reason why I couldn't.

The years have rolled by and my first little babies aren't so little any more.  Finally, this year, I've got the itch to get out there with my crew.  Amazingly this comes on a year when I not only had a baby, but one smack dab in the midst of our summer break.   While I am gratefully slowing down in many ways (unplugging from email and phone comes to mind...), in other ways I am revving up, ready to go for it.  And I've learned a few things.

I've learned to wash swimsuits and towels immediately after use and repack them in a reusable bag - so when adventure strikes again, we can just grab and go.

I've learned that keeping a bag of pretzels and a stash of juice boxes in the back of the car aids in easygoing spontaneity.

I've learned (again) that babywearing is Mama (and baby's) best friend, keeping us close in our sweet dyad even as we explore with bigger kids.

I've learned that there is no such thing as bored children...just boring adults (when we refuse to put in the time/energy to fun!)

I've learned that an extra set of clothing for each person in the family is a handy thing to keep in my diaper bag.

I've learned baby wipes aren't just for baby bottoms.

Most of all, I've learned that I enjoy my children and my life so much better when we are able to shed the cares and stresses of daily life and just have a little fun.  A picnic in the park, a day at the beach, a visit to a town we've never been to.  Its all good.  And these kids of mine?  They don't mind it a bit.

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  1. I recognize that lighthouse! You were in my neck of Michigan. :)

  2. I am the same way. Every summer the kids hear me swear this year we'll go. And every summer there is something that keeps us home. I hate it. But the thought of all that planning makes me anxious and panicky.

  3. Just finished our 3rd family weekend trip. All were family reunions where we had to travel and do hotels twice. My kids have this weird love of checking into hotels!! LOL I don't know what it is...they roll their little suitcase up to the desk and ask for a room. Ha. But I have learned, most assuredly, pack some snacks, a change of clothes....and you're pretty much good to go. The more do it, the easier it gets.

  4. "I've learned that there is no such thing as bored children...just boring adults"
    I smiled when I read this. True, true, true! :) You're awesome.

  5. I have to admit that I cringe when I think about taking a trip with my children. In my defense, the trips my husband usually want to take require twelve hours of driving, two days of visiting, and twelve hours back home. But when he says, "It's time," my gift for planning takes over and I get things done. Honestly, I'm thinking our trip down to Florida Saturday will be a breeze because it will only take five hours!

    (I try the same excuses you do: it's too far, our children are too young, I'm pregnant, I have a newborn, etc.)


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