It was three days before we were leaving on vacation. We would be driving from our home in Massachusetts to Washington D.C. for a few nights, and then traveling onward to Virginia Beach. Yes it was that morning when our beloved mini van, The Tailgater, stopped revving on the on-ramp for 95 as I was headed to work, emanated steam from the hood, and proceeded to take a huge financial crap on my life.
But I’ll tell you what, I paid that $900 to fix it gladly and thanked God, karma, all the stars in the heavens, any power that be, for making those cylinders stop doing whatever it is those cylinders do on that Monday morning instead of on the day of the trip. It took two days to fix, including the ordering of parts. Can you imagine if that had happened to us in, oh, I don’t know…Delaware?
Come on now…not that there’s anything wrong with Delaware. I just don’t want to break down there with my two kids in tow, holed up in a hotel room somewhere and wondering if we will ever make it to the beach.
But we made it. We found out the air conditioning didn’t work when we got into Rhode Island, and spent the entire ride down south sweltering, but we made it.
The entire process this time around, from the planning and packing, right down the actual vacationing was so much easier than the last family vacation we took several years ago. Back then Dominic was right around 18 months and Sofia was 3.5 years of age. We needed gates and bottles and food had to be cut up in tiny pieces, and by God you had to watch every step they took for there were stairs and tiny foreign objects that could be put in mouths, and oh yeah plus there were two pools and an entire ocean to worry about.
Well, there were still two pools and an entire ocean to worry about, but as they aged we also prepared and wow, all those swimming lessons have paid off.
I think more than anything it was a peek into what life is going to be like when they are older. Things are starting to get easier. Family vacations are beginning to feel like that, time spent together, enjoyed together. All the other stuff that makes it feel like work (bottles and diapers and nap times and please for the love of all that is holy sleep through the night) is fading away. I guess if I have to say good-bye to their baby days, this is the good stuff. No, the great stuff.