Often, when we talk of a family vacation we remember the movie “The Lion King”. More than twenty years ago, I travelled with the kids to Cape Cod for a vacation. On the way, we listened to the soundtrack from “The Lion King” over and over and over and over… Actually, it played repeatedly from Ohio to Massachusetts. It became one of Pook’s favorite movies. I actually remember a conversation in the car… okay, truth be told I was yelling at the kids. I don’t remember what in particular had me upset this time but it came down to me informing them that our family was not a democracy and that I was in charge. Pook took that as his cue. His response was straight from the movie. “No King, No King, la la la la la la!” What can you say after that? It was the beginning of a lifetime of movie quotes instead of conversations.
Anyway, we just returned from a long trip to Colorado. Our trips are usually eventful. It just happens because of the sheer number of people that we travel with. Vacations when the kids were young were not vacations at all, at least not for me. The kids were my “job” and so my “work” always vacationed with me. It was the same routine for me with different scenery. Don’t get me wrong. I am not complaining. I love being with my kids. We create fun wherever we go.
While we are on the road, there is a lot of music. There are also more jokes than the average person can handle. I am always reminded that I am personally responsible for all of the smart aleck responses I get from my children. Pook in particular reminds me that they never got straight answers from me!
I am reminded of the circle of life whenever we vacation. The children are no longer little. They take up more room in the car. They still have their squabbles, but not as often. Their taste in music has changed and they now control the radio instead of me. We listen to their music and not Sounds of the 70’s. It is nice because they can now help out with the driving. If they don’t want to sightsee the places I want to go, I can just leave them behind. You can’t leave a small child to his or her own devices, but I guess sometimes you should think twice before leaving an older child alone too.
I used to travel home to Illinois a lot when the kids were small. It got to the point where I had memorized mile markers and more importantly, I knew where every single bathroom and rest area was located. Invariably, we would just pass a rest area and one of them would start bouncing up and down in the seat because he or she had to go to the bathroom and couldn’t wait. I finally outsmarted them though! I started carrying a “potty seat” in the car in case of an emergency. Which brings us full circle because it is no longer the kids who have bathroom emergencies. More often than not, my husband and occasionally me has the emergent need for rest areas. And so it goes……
Wife, Mother, Mother, Mother, Mother, Mother, Mother, Mother, Nurse, Grandmother, Friend...that's me in a nutshell!