Monday, June 21, 2021

Summer Magic

 Who doesn't love vacation?

Ok, my mom didn't, but that's a story for another day.

I love vacations. When I was a kid, my family went on a road trip every summer. I remember being too excited to sleep the night before we left, then waking up with the sun and sleeping in the car. We'd cram in our old van (until I got older, then we rented a van every summer), drink soda and eat fast food, see new places, and visit cousins. 

I love to see that same excitement in my kids when we go on trips. And even though I don't feel grown-up enough to be the Mom--sitting up front, handing out snacks, shushing arguments, holding Mr. Brown Eyes' hand--I love that part, too. 

Sometimes Mr. Brown Eyes and I get grumpy on vacation. Late nights + long drives + wild, shrieking children = one of us, or both of us, is going to snap. And I feel so bad when it happens, like we've ruined this fun family time together and all that our children will remember of vacation is that Mom and Dad didn't let them have any fun. 

What makes me feel even worse is that I don't ever remember my parents being grumpy with us while we were on vacation, not even the time we got rear-ended in Seattle in the middle of the night. When after being awakened by the crash, I sleepily asked my dad, "Is the van dented?"

But my parents weren't perfect, and I can't imagine that we ever got through a two week vacation without some level of bad moods. What matters, though, is that I don't remember that part. What I remember of our vacations is playing on the floor of the van (no, I would never let my kids do that today), picnicking in the forest, hiking to a waterfall, laughing with my cousins until we cried. I remember the ice cold water in Lake Michigan, juicy strawberries from my grandma's garden, the wind whipping my hair as we ferried across the Puget Sound, dazzling fireworks in a summer sky.

If my parents ever lost their patience with us, the happy memories we made were enough to drown it out. 

I hope the same thing happens with my children.

I hope, thirty years from now, they look back and remember magical summers full of thunderstorms in Lockett Meadow, mangoes on the beach in Rocky Point, lush green vistas in Oregon, and lots and lots of laughter. 

And maybe a little grumpiness, too.  And an unanticipated inspection at the border. 

But mostly magic. 

Happy Summer,

The Brown-Eyed Girl

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