my idea of a vacation
I’m not sure I’ve ever been on the relax-on-a-beach-do-nothing vacation in my life. We went to Disney when I was in Middle School but we had our days jam packed morning to night that it was exciting and fun and memorable but not relaxing. I went to Mexico on my ‘honeymoon’ (there were 2 other couples and I was pregnant, so, you know not typical) but again, little to no relaxation and I think I stayed up later then average since we were playing games with friends we seldom saw. Our yearly camping trip is also an exercise in doing as much as possible with people we don’t get to see. Since we moved away from our family every trip we take is usually family visit based and while we are there we want to maximize our time. So, this summer, I say I’m on vacation but not in the standard definition. This time my sister and I coordinated time in NY because in less then a month she and her family are moving to Hawaii so even though 7 kids is bedlam, I need to soak in all in before 50% are gone.
We are lucky that my parents house is big enough that we all fit just fine. We are more lucky that they live a block from a private beach. We are even more lucky that they all like each other (for the most part) so the chaos is mostly happy and they disappear with each other so we don’t even have to plan things to do… and that is a good thing because just planning to feed them all is enough work! Today I posted this on instagram, it was me solo with 7 kids on the beach. I know plenty of people that have 7 kids but as I have found with my 3 it is nice to have the age spread. When you have 7 kids, usually the oldest is something like 13 or 14 when you have your 7th infant. The 8 cousins are like having 3 sets of twins; TJ is 10 and Brenden is 8 but then Niamh AND Connor are both 6, Zoe AND Evelyn are both 4, Fiona AND Chase are 2ish (Chase is 1.5) so when they are all together it is 8 under 11 and that is hard to keep track of even with 3 mothers on the job. This picture is the only one of many that I took that they are all in the same frame. Most of the time one was in the water, one was behind me picking up rocks and the other 5 were digging holes or making castles. It will be lonely when they all leave in 2 weeks but on the bright side a very good reason to visit Hawaii.
Back to the topic of vacation. I gave it thought and I actually am ‘on vacation’ for a few things. I joke that I’m just changing location of life for a few weeks but really with Lars left behind I’m on a break from being a wife. Nobody to tag team with but also nobody to coordinate with – I’m running the show. Since I’m staying at my parents, I’m on a break from running a house too. I still pitch in but I came down from putting kids to bed with the idea that I would set the table for adult dinner and it was set already! Like magic! If I actually cooked at home I would be on even more vacation but I don’t really cook often enough for that to count. I still pick up toys and socks but I don’t have to worry about lurking large projects like garage cleaning so I’m on a vacation from the nagging feeling that I should be doing something. I’m not reading a book sipping an icy drink but I am seeing friends and family and giving my kids the sleepover party of a lifetime.