The thing about vacation, for a person like me at least, is that it's hard. When I say, "a person like me" I'm not simply referring to the fact that I have young children and the logistics of young children away from home are infinitely trickier than the logistics of young child at home. I'm primarily referring to the me that doesn't "go with the flow" very easily and gets overwhelmed when there's too much "different" all at once. Sometimes on vacation I get irritable and hyper-focused on how we'll anticipate hang-ups and manage what comes next and other times on vacation I just sit down and stare into space - it has the appearance of relaxation but it's really just overwhelm-ation. (Yes, I did just make up a word.) I recall from vacations even in my youth that vacation has always been hard for me.
But the other thing about vacation is that the "hard' is worth it. Not "worth it" in the sense that we all got tan, had ice cream cones, splashed in the surf, and sipped mojitos (which we did thanks for my youngest sister's bar tending skills! yum!) I don't even mean "worth it" in the sense that we relaxed (because as my mother said at the end of the trip, "I think we all had a great time, but it wasn't relaxing." That's the "young kids" thing.) The hard work of our vacation was worth it because I was given the gift of "seeing" my family more clearly, and appreciating them more deeply, given a week out of our normal, every-day "habitat." Being at home all the time, it's almost as if the kids and Russ can start to blend into the surroundings, but on vacation they're easier to "see" against the backdrop of someplace unfamiliar. I saw how delightful and polite my children are because I got to see them interact with our extended family and other Cape Cod vacationers. I saw how creative and interesting they are as they built backyard fortresses and ocean-side sand-castles. I was grateful to witness their curiosity and interest in new things - whales, crabs, and outdoor showers :) I was reminded how fun and fun-loving Russ is and how he thrives in social situations, how at ease he is in groups and how much he enjoys family time. My husband and children weren't different on vacation, but I was able to better recognize the goodness in them that's always there but sometimes gets a bit blurred in the day-to-day of the 51 other weeks of the year.
Vacation is hard. But vacation was good.
We spent our week at Cape Cod with my parents, my three siblings, my brother-in-law, our nephew, and my sister's boyfriend. I've tried not to include them in the photos here because I never think to ask permission before I publish these things. And the other thing about vacation pictures? Usually people don't really want to see all your vacation pictures. They're sentimental and awesome to you, but not so much to everyone else. View further at your own discretion ;) (They got out of order, but since you probably won't look at them that closely, I'm not going to knock my brains our rearranging things...)