I’m exhausted. 8 days with your kids and grandkids will do that to you. We just returned from a family vacation to Florida. When I first mentioned late last year about doing an extended family vacation, I was a bit unsure. A week on a St. Pete’s beach with your hubby, relaxing poolside, listening the sound of the waves, watching the sunset over the gulf versus a week in Kissimmee Florida with 6 other people – four of them kids – overdosing on Mickey Mouse and all things Disney (they OWN central Florida) – which would you choose? Our departure date was Saturday June 25th. On Friday the 24th I really thought I’d regret not picking the first option. But after a good nights’ sleep in my own bed (can I get an amen?) I realize my perspective has shifted a bit.
Were there daily meltdowns from children running on 6 hours sleep? Yep. How about plane rides with a 3-year-old screaming (and I do mean screaming) for 15 minutes that she has to use the bathroom as the plane was landing? Yep again. Arguments over splashing in the pool (that might have been me) playing in the game room, where to go for dinner? Sure was. Hot, tired, cranky kids and adults? You bet. But as I process the last week, even though all the irritation – minor and major – I realize how much I love my family. How completely, thoroughly and undeniably I am blessed. I have a husband that loves me, children that want to spend time with me, grandkids that adore me and the resources to go on vacation. I wouldn’t trade the giggles, the sticky faces, the never-ending UNO game, late night pool volley ball, singing karaoke and laughing until our bellies hurt, Tiger baseball games where they rallied in the 9th to win, Gatorland train rides that break down and they have to walk you back (seriously happened), sudden downpours, playing in puddles, “mermaid” shopping, cousins bonding, the “good-night grandmas”, warm, sleepy hugs and the 100 “I love yous” for anything. I won’t be here forever. I now have less days ahead of me than behind. The older I get the more that smacks me in the face. These memories will be what my family holds onto. When my grandchildren are adults, they’ll be telling these stories. “Do you remember how much fun we had that time we rented the house in Florida for the week? When it rained so hard we got drenched as we ran through Gatorland to the car? How we ate cookies at Cape Canaveral that were so hard we thought they brought them back from the moon? When we sang It’s Raining Men with Grandma on Karaoke night?”
When I’m gone, I want to be remembered with laughter and love. I want to be the kind of mom, grandma, wife that will be missed. Good memories – what a great legacy to leave my family.
Now I’m going to take a nap.