My head is spinning. I am in full on crazy mode getting ready for our winter vacation and there is a lot that needs to happen to get this family of 4 off on a vacation. This is not about who does what, although, I think you could guess that I am dealing with most of the details of preparing and packing. But no matter who does it, is it worth it? Is one week away worth all of the work that is required to get away?
We've done some shorter trips this winter to ski and my husband and I have seen the other side now; we've seen vacations from the parent side. We were packing the car late one Friday night and both looked at each other with the same thought, "They have no idea". Our kids had gone to bed hours before excited to ski. In the morning, they woke up and off we went without a single detail of the day crossing their little minds; everything just fell into place for them. They had no idea the preparation that went into that one day-trip of skiing - remembering all of the gear, packing extra clothes, snacks, and lunch. Their job was just to get up, get dressed, and get into the car. Now I see all that went on behind the scenes of every trip I ever took as a child. Its a lot of work.
Its a lot of work and there's no vacation to prepare for your vacation; it all has to somehow occur during an otherwise normal week. For next week's trip my to-do list is very long. I've been been piecing together summer clothes that still fit my kids and buying needed shorts, bathing suits, and sunscreen. I've been doing what seems like a never ending pile of laundry preparing to finally pack. And amongst the swirling in my head is all of the notes and phone calls that need to be made this week reminding everyone that my children will be absent from school and activities. Not to mention recruiting friends and neighbors to pick up mail, water the plants, and feed the fish. Its just a lot to keep track of. Throw in there a trip to the kennel to drop off the dog and it just becomes a very stressful week. Is all of the stress of this week a fair exchange for a week of not dealing with any of it?
I'm not sure the prep work is always an even exchange for the week off. But for this vacation, if all goes as planned, I am sure. I do know that the minute we step off the plane onto the warm tarmac of that tiny island airport, I will be relaxed; I won't even care if there is a line at customs. I can say this with almost certainty because we do this every winter and every year it feels worth it once I get there. Despite being the one to organize this family to leave on vacation, I will truly be on vacation once we are there. I won't cook or clean for 9 whole days and for most of that time someone else will be entertaining my children. But every year, I do come dangerously close to losing my mind in the days leading up to the trip. Pre-trip "trippin" is the price you pay for the potential of a really great trip.