No, I’m not in LA….
Actually, I’ve brought the children on what, to some, might be the vacation of a lifetime. But it’s not our first time in Orlando…
Traveling with them, I want them to feel joyous and excited. I want to feel relaxed. I think they are content and happy here. We exist mostly according to their whim and schedule. One resort employee even remarked that, together, their conversations and negotiations resemble as much an old married couple as two grammar school-aged children.
But for me, there’s a sadness…a grieving for the vacations we used to have: two-bedroom suites on the beach, so many firsts, grandma or other extended family members on hand to share child-care, travel arrangements and stress that I now manage by myself. Mostly I miss giving them the experience of all this as an in-tact family unit. Somehow I feel as though I’m giving them a lesser vacation by asking them to wait until I finish reading a chapter before joining them in an icy pool.
I know my ex is grieving our vacations, too, by the wistful replies he sends to my emailed photos of the children and his voice on the phone when he calls to talk to them.
Someday, I will get beyond the belief that two parents equals twice the vacation. I’m working on that.
Two days in, I’ve started to relax and enjoy just being in my children’s sustained presence. By tomorrow, I’ll be rocking’ this. And, with any luck, we’ll all arrive at home feeling refreshed, relaxed and full of new, happy vacation memories with our little family.