Well here it is. The final dedication of the summer to vacations as we come up on Labor Day, which was always considered the end of summer when I was a kid. Although most children now go back to school in mid-August, I still hold on to Labor Day as the official end of summer vacation. (Some things are difficult to let go of.
Vacations, as I have said before, were dreamed up as a way to escape from every day life and relax! As I have also said: WHAT??!!! Vacations involve no relaxation before or after and maybe a little in the middle.
As an example: I recently took a trip to Florida to visit Calvin, P3 and babies. Should have been pretty simple to do. We drove and I took Mommy's kids from my house to hers and then on to Florida. First of all, we left an hour later than planned and even at that, I had to return home 3 times before I finally had everything! When I was a kid, entertainment in the car consisted of books, my dad's radio choices, looking out the window or reading a map! My delays on this trip consisted of making sure I had movies, a dvd player and all the accessories and that the kids could run the controls. Of course it kept disconnecting which resulted in additional stops, because as much as you shouldn't text and drive you really shouldn't operate a dvd player and drive!
We were two hours late getting to Mommy's house because I took one of my infamous "short cuts" which resulted in being at a dead stop on the highway for no apparent reason and taking the wrong road! Leaving the next morning for Florida was further delayed because Mommy decided it would be necessary to vacuum the car before we left. Apparently she does not remember how dirty a car can get inside when you travel!
At any rate, we hit the road and headed south reminiscing about the last time we made the trip past Quantico. We were quite certain that we had been tagged as terrorists the last time. We were in a caravan of five cars heading to the Outer Banks. As we headed past Washington DC many years ago and were as far to the left as you could be on the road. In fact, we were on the opposite side of the highway and by the way, we had just made a "Pit Stop." Phones started going off. We had what my son referred to as a "Brown Alert" (use your imagination) and we needed to stop ASAP. So we had to careen across three lanes of traffic, across the median and three more lanes of traffic until we could get to an exit. In that particular area you have to travel a bit to find a gas station/bathroom. Well, as luck would have it, the "Alert" turned into a full blown (no pun intended) disaster. To some, it was funny enough to cause dropping to the ground with laughter and tears. To others, mostly me, it was anything funny. New rules: EVERYONE uses the bathroom any time we stop! The poor people waiting in line to use the bathroom where overcome with the smell!
This particular trip also included vomiting, which happens not only with children but dogs, family arguments, falling asleep in the airport parking lot waiting to pick up an additional member of the party and causing panic, looking for one person who thought it would be a good idea to walk from the gym back to our house in 100 + degree weather. Other trips have resulted in lost children at Disney World (by the way, their security measures are impressive!), flight delays and cancellations, emergency stops by the airline because of engine trouble, rocks hitting windshields, bad food causing GI disturbances and occasionally a little to much partying!
But where would we be without these stories to tell?! Thankfully, God has blessed our family with a healthy sense of humor. Even though some things were not so funny at the time, eventually we laugh and look at things in a lighter way. We have been blessed to spend time together as a family and I pray that these blessings can continue. Although I get a little nervous about what "could" happen with each trip, especially with so many people, I wouldn't trade these times for anything on earth. I hope that you have been blessed with a safe, enjoyable and healthy summer.
Wife, Mother, Mother, Mother, Mother, Mother, Mother, Mother, Nurse, Grandmother, Friend...that's me in a nutshell!