This summer seems to have passed by in a blur. Once school finished, my daughters and I spent every day at the pool since my eldest daughter is involved in our local swim team. While this is great and I love spending my days lazing at the pool, once the season is over, I find I can’t drag my children there. Swim team also means no vacations until after the season is over. As luck would have it, my daughter made it to the championships, which extends her season an additional week.
Then August approaches. Stores begin to advertise back to school savings, lunchboxes and bookbags are everywhere, each bag more colorful and vibrant than the last. It is right around this time that families scramble to get in that one last vacation before the kiddos return to school. Unlike these other families, my family is still searching for their first vacation.
So, this friday, my girls and I will drive twelve hours to Massachusetts to surprise my mother for her sixty-fifth birthday. She has no idea. My children are thrilled beyond belief and began packing several days ago. They’ve determined which movies, blankets and pillows they are going to cram into my minivan for this trip. And me? Well, I’ve purchased an audio book that is, coincidentally, just about the same length as my anticipated drive time. The hope is that I will become so engrossed in this novel that I will forget about the seven hundred miles of highway that stand between me and my mother.
Once there, I can enjoy the fact that my children will want to spend time with their grandparents – the people they only get to see once or twice a year. And what does this mean for me? It means that if one of my children needs something to eat or drink, someone else will get it for them. I can spend the entire week relaxing while my children spend time with family members who love them.
Then, of course, I need to drive another twelve hours back to North Carolina.