Thursday, July 10, 2008

Vacationing with Young Kids

Ah, the promise of a seaside vacation in New England where we get 2 good months of warm weather per year. Could there be anything better? As I sit in my office, I think about how wonderful it will 6-year old son and my 3-year old daughter frolicking in the waves, the warm sun hitting my face as I casually read through my magazine and occasionally laugh at a joke made by my insanely-funny husband. We sip lemonade, eat grapes and take beautiful family pictures.

Sound like a familiar dream? Welcome to the reality of the family takes us 2 hours to get out of the condo and onto the beach, my daughter screams the whole way to the water because the sand it too hot, my son demands snacks as soon as we sit down and my husband and I spend the entire 3 hours catering to their every need before heading back to the condo to collapse from exhaustion. My friend Britt just found this out during her recent family vacation.

But you know what? It's fun and it's just our time to be a family. So I am truly excited. My house is a disaster because my husband has to take every possible item that we own even though we will only be gone for a week, I will be chasing after my daughter tonight after promising to polish her nails with the purple nail polish she insisted that I had to buy her and apply before vacation, and spending the next 24-hours preparing for what appears to be the equivalent of preparing for life in a bomb shelter with no hope of return.

Still, I can't wait...


Monday, July 7, 2008

Living a Child-Centric Life

Happy Belated Fourth of July to everyone! Hope it was wonderful and filled with lots of BBQs and relaxation. We had a wonderful holiday weekend - our good friends invited us up to their condo in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. We had a blast - Storyland for the kids, dinner out, swimming in the river, etc.

It was all great until we were driving home. The kids were crabby and arguing, as always and we hit a good amount of traffic. I was not feeling entirely great. And then it struck me - the fact that we would be passing the LL Bean outlet that I am never able to get to. So, I mentioned this factoid to my husband who then proceeded to joke around with me about it with that "there's no chance in hell that we're stopping there" look in his eyes. I became overly annoyed about the whole thing and did not speak to him the entire way home...and beyond. He later explained that it was not really feasible because the kids were tired and would give us a hard time, whether they had to wait in the car or in the store.

Okay, I get it. And I know that he was right - they would have made our lives miserable the entire time. But it got me thinking about how crazy it seems that my children completely run my life. I love them more than anything in the world but I can certainly remember lots of trips to stores that I hated as a kid. And certainly my parents never asked me or even told me I was going. We were just going and then was the end of it. But I find with our own kids, we are so focused around their every need that it often becomes all-consuming. I think there needs to be more of a balance - maybe our lives would be a bit easier, a bit more livable if we could take them on a few errands, to the grocery store and, yes, even to the LL Bean Outlet once in a while.

What do you think? I know - you think that I just have a shopping addiction that needs to be indulged. You're probably right...but tell me your thoughts anyway.