Several days ago we returned from an epic vacation. Truly no longer than our usual, one week. No where dauntingly epic like Disney. Instead it was the usual vacation at Cape Hatteras, meeting up with my in-laws, coupled with our first introduction to Myrtle Beach for a wedding. The weather looked grim for one and the atmosphere very gimmicky for the other, respectively.
This vacation, packing for two separate places, MB being our destination to be involved in one of our dearest friend’s weddings, had me scattered. My husband, doesn’t do minimal packing very well, did a complete 180 on me even overruling all our family’s rain gear despite the torrential downpour we were headed for knowing a hurricane would be passing through the Atlantic at the same time. But despite all the logistics and planning, despite any and all mishaps along the way, it was a very good vacation.
This year it landed perfectly to where I truly was unoccupied mentally with school. I felt 100% present with my family the whole time. I was much more relaxed and chill. So even the days in the not-quite-rain-proof-tent with two children fighting they still held such moments of simple connection and joy for me. I’ve been enjoying reading aloud the Little House series to the boys. It depicts a different era so accurately and describes such fascinating things to little minds you can’t help but get lost in it. It takes me back to when I was young and reading the books. I caved and bought the boys new toys and really caved and let them choose the small plastic army men they wanted. It is a Civil War set and man, was that an interesting conversation and reaction with, and by, Sidekick who’s 6.
At Cape Hatteras the children enjoyed the beach so very much, needing nothing except their legs to outrun the chasing waves and time with Daddy out in the surf. Time stood still just watching all three of them and I did feel peace at the normally oppressing continuity the tradition of always coming to that beach holds. I’m never more aware of glimpses of my husband a boy as I am there. Years melt away and his joy and contentment pushes away the rest of the world so effectively I find I truly relax into myself. Into the present. I normally find such a hard time just. being. present. So I’m thankful to him and his family for that gift each year, thankful to Cape Hatteras.
On to Myrtle Beach. I dreaded the physical location, the hotel expense (we usually camp when we travel and even that expense is a stretch), and the “type” of people that would choose MB. However, I must say I don’t have one complaint. Everyone we met was wonderful, the beach beautiful, and the kids adored the hotel. This part of the trip though was about our friends, so many of them, and their children. There were countless moments when I would just quietly check out of the conversations and watch all these children, kids who belonged to people I love but rarely see, and marvel how I just felt with every inch of my being connected to and in love with those kids. I made a point to try, try, try, and not over-talk, to listen to all of my friends, where they are at in life, what the journey has been like, what is on their horizon. It was really, really amazing.
The wedding was perfect and of course took me back to my own. Sidekick said, “I wish I could have seen you and Daddy married. I wish I would have been there.” BuddyRoo was in the wedding actually as the ring bearer and I adored his excitement over his bow tie. He was ready to go down the isle from the moment he got there but as more and more people talked to him about his responsibilities and fussed over him the more clingy he got. Time passed and then it was his big moment. I ended up nudging him down the isle half the way, though Daddy, as Best Man was front and center waiting to wrap him in his arms upon meeting his destination. He finally made it and the crowd cheered. Hubby was busy most the weekend with wedding responsibilities, as I knew he would be. But I was unprepared for how much the boys noticed and vocalized missing, needing, Daddy. In reality he wasn’t gone any more than when he’s working, but maybe because they knew we were all on vacation together they couldn’t stand being without him. I felt blessed though each time, even amidst tears and tirades, that they love their Dada so very much.
So great to see the kids master parts of the pool on their own. Fun to watch all my boys on the lazy river. Great even for me to be on the lazy river with both boys and going under the waterfalls and buckets and laughing as jubilantly as the kids.
All in all this vacation went by too fast. I loved it. I normally hang on to imperfections, things outside my control that tweak my world, I can’t stand em. That whole week though I felt surprisingly “fluid”, able to go with the flow, and that was, what I imagine, is the definition and purpose of vacation.