Ah, vacation… It’s not an easy thing to get a family, especially one with a young child, out of town. There’s so much preparation. There’s the food planning, the grocery shopping, the packing (you have to make sure you have cute yet practical clothes for all weather conditions, the good sunscreen, the sun hat, and for goodness sake don’t forget Baby Chloe and Monkey).
Then there’s the drive and the screaming when the girl decides she’s bored and had enough. There’s the running around at the rest stop. There’s the car snacking and the tears when you run out of ‘ting cheese (string cheese). Then there’s loading everything onto the boat, bribing the child into the life vest, leashing the dog and trying to keep her from pulling you into the water as you walk down the dock. There’s the boat ride where you’re trying to keep the kid awake because you know if she drifts off the real nap will not happen. There’s the unloading of the boat and the loading of another car and the driving to the house.
Once you get there, there’s putting the girl to bed for her nap and unloading the cooler and the totes full of groceries and removing sheets from furniture and opening blinds. By then it’s pretty much time to start dinner. There’s the cutting, the chopping, the marinating. There’s packing up dinner fixings and the vitamins and the sippy cups of milk and going to the parent’s house. There’s the greeting of the nieces and the combining of chopped items and marinated meats and there’s kids and dogs and more kids everywhere, running, there’s the running, then there’s the crashing and the crying, and the requisite stealing of toys.
Then, finally, it’s cocktail hour. There’s the pouring of beverages and the consumption of guacamole. There’s the sun as it begins its descent, there are hummingbirds at the feeder, there’s the dying wind and the still water and the one ferry boat passing by the one fishing boat tied to one buoy. There’s a set table and kids around it (or close enough) and dogs sprawled out sleeping in the sun and there’s this family and this gin and tonic and grilled ribs and salad. There’s the sun warming the back of your neck. There’s this perfect moment when everything good and worthy comes together and you sit with your people in the most beautiful place you know and exhale.
I hope you’re all finding lots of these moments this summer.