Changes of scenery.
Henceforth this is what I shall call an out of town trip with the kids. I am sure at some point down the road, say 15 + years from now it will revert back into a “vacation”, but for the foreseeable future they shall not be called vacations. Because, let’s be honest, they really aren’t. Not with toddlers.
Now. Please don’t read this as me saying I hate traveling with my children and I don’t enjoy where we go, what we see, the time we spend together because that is far from the truth! I followed this train of thought to my blog tonight as I have been packing and making travel preparations to head to the beach with my two little boys tomorrow. My sister and new brother-in-law are meeting us there and generously donating their time and energy being super awesome real-life toys before they do a switch off with my husband next Friday and we round out our nice and lengthy beach stay with a few daddy days.
As I have been puttering and checking off lists, I am already tired. We have been at the pool almost every single afternoon that it has been sunny out. Our summer days have been full and happy and mama is tired. I am so giddy that the kids are genuinely excited about the beach trip this year and know to expect seashell hunts, seagull feedings, fireworks, glow sticks after dark, picnics on the balcony while watching the ocean, pizza at one of their favorite places, afternoons at the “big park with the ducks and swans”, baths in their grandma’s big tub with the brass dolphin faucet and mermaid mural on the wall, tide pools, ice cream, counting all the motorcycles we see…all the little things we do and some we kind of only do at the beach. Since my boys are still so little (thisclose to three, and nearly five), if I did not have an extra set of hands helping me all week, I probably would not be going. Or I would sweet talk my husband into coming down on the flanking weekends to help me unload/unpack and then pack/load it all up again. Up to this point I have been able to wrangle my mom or my sister to accompany me/us. Probably another year or two and I’ll be more comfortable handling the whole process on my own. Or I’ll be more confident in my toddlers’ ability to listen to mama and retain the information or instruction that was just talked about. HA!
But I take it for what it seems to me to be right now, a lovely week with the little ones I adore and a much appreciated change of scenery. The daily routine is similar, the amount of work and energy needed to get ready for the beach, stick it out for a couple hours and get cleaned up afterwords is massive, you still have to feed the kids/prep the food/clean up the kitchen/wash the dishes, etc…, you still have the bedtime routine, you still have the baths…the amount of work is the same, if not a bit more. This is why I smile and think to myself – this is really not a vacation, it’s just a change of scenery. I’m gonna need a 15-hour nap when we get back home.