July 20, 2016 by Ellen V
We are currently four weeks deep in our five week vacation. By this time next week, we will be sleeping in our own beds, God willing.
This year, much more than last, I’ve gotten more questions and funny looks about our decision to haul our kids across the country and caravan around the Midwest with them for over a month. Maybe it’s because our move isn’t so fresh and we’re not so lonely, or maybe it’s because Sidney isn’t a baby and the need to show her off to family doesn’t appear so pressing. Or maybe it’s just because we are making it a point to see more extended family and friends, and so there are that many more people wondering what the heck is wrong with us!
Truly, the answer is simple: we recognize that this season of life is short. We are at a unique crossroads of opportunity and age. To not take advantage of that would be a crime!
So here we are in central Wisconsin, living the good life for another week. No complaints here.
Traveling this time around has been incredibly easy compared to previous trips. No formula, no baby food, no constant worries about accidents. It’s hard to believe that we might even be diaper free by next summer?! (Let’s not get our hopes to far up, though, ‘kay?) The kids have been outside all day, every day, so they eat and sleep like champs. I’ve learned how to pack in a way that brings clarity to everyone: clothes for four days in the Midwest summer (so temps ranging from 50-100, no exaggeration). Everyone lives in their swimsuits anyway. Maybe my packing strategy is more like, “Bring more swimsuits than you think you need and less of everything else.”
There are tricky things too, of course. Everyone needs an occasional reminder about whose in charge (hint: it’s mom). None of us can eat “vacation food” for five weeks straight without paying for it. Toddler nap times keep everyone in a decent rhythm. Sunscreen and bug spray are diaper bag essentials. And all the rules need to be broken occasionally.
We have tried hard this year to make time with family (and friends who may as well be family) our top priority. So far, it’s been worth every effort.