Thursday, May 29, 2008

Another Mom Moment No One Talks About: Internal Drama for the Mama

We've been getting ready for a vacation around here.

By that I mean, I bought a box of Ritz Bitz Cheese Crackers and a new toothbrush for all of us. That's just the kind of on-top-of-the-details mom I am.

Something new I noticed at Walmart today: In the frozen foods, if no one has been down that aisle recently, the lights in the freezers will be off. Then when you come down the aisle, they will switch on, just for you. It's just like walking down a Hollywood red carpet with paparazzi flashing at you, only you're at Walmart, pushing a cart with a demonized squealing wheel, waving looking at fish sticks.

Anyway, I'm having trouble getting excited about this vacation because it's the first one where not all 5 of us be along for the ride.

Box Man, pictured above, is staying home to move boxes of tickets all week at his new job. And he will babysit Zoe.

So when I went to the store to pick up traveling necessities like snacks and ... snacks, I just got sad and put a bunch back. I picked up College Daughter's favorite cracker, Chicken in a Biscuit, and then my mind automatically went to the favorite of the next oldest kid, and then I remembered he's not going, and I just didn't care anymore.

Oh yeah, I have a third kid, too, but I just couldn't pick hers up, either. She's the one in all of the family who's closest to Box Man. They are simpatico, even though they're 3 1/2 years apart. She adores him, and he is good to her. He picked her up from youth group last night for us and took her to get a Blizzard. That's the kind of big brother he is. He brings so much joy to the family with all of his silliness; it won't be the same without him.

I assume vacations will now always be taken by part of the family or someday all of the family plus kids' spouses, but not just the 5 of us anymore. I'm not ready for that. See, here is another mom moment they don't prepare you for--the day that the family vacations as you have known them are over.

Moms of young ones: Vacations are a big hassle, I know, but enjoy them, each and every one--and for Pete's sake--it's a vacation ... give them all of the favorite snacks that they want! Goldfish crackers ground into the floor of the minivan won't matter to you at all in 10 more years, I sincerely promise.

21 comments:

Teri said...

Sorry the boy is staying home:(

R.L.Scovens said...

Mel and I don't get to go on vacations much, but I do cherish the times that him and I have together. Memories are held forever.

Kimberly said...

I remember those feelings so well. Sorta like someone popped your balloon.
The first less-than-whole-family vacation was actually half and half. We all met up in Colorado and spent a week with friends at their cabin in the mountains. Wonderful week! Then the son had to fly home to work and the rest of us spent a week driving home and visiting various and sundry sites. We had a great time but it just felt WRONG on some level. We kept seeing or doing things we knew he would like. *sigh*
So having been-there-done-that, I will be PRAYING that in spite of missing the boy, you'll enjoy this time with hubby and girls.

Mocha with Linda said...

Yesterday you made me laugh.

Today you made me cry.

Time is going by way too fast.

Although I DO look forward to the day when the big brother in our family will not roll his eyes at the little sister!

Darlene R. said...

:( That makes me sad for you. I will remember what you said when I'm getting ready for our vacation! I'll try not to stress about the groud up crackers! My kids will be thanking you for that!

Susanne said...

Oh you're breaking my heart because we are on the threshold of this. All this letting go coming one after the other. I don't know if I can handle it.

Linda said...

Kimberly, I can't access your site, but I want to thank you for your understanding. It seems "wrong" on some level. Susanne, you know that Dobson parenting book about parenting not being for cowards? Well, this is another time in life you have to buck up. I'm not liking it one bit.

Debbie said...

I understand as I still miss the dynamics of vacations with "just the kids". On the other hand, for each of these things we let go of, there are things added. Whole family (kids & spouses, etc.) vacations are tough to coordinate but a real delight. For me, I'm already anxious for when the grandbabies are old enough to take off on vacation with Grammy!

Cyndy said...

Oh...I never thought about that...vacations I mean. Just another sad milestone in the road of life that I'm not looking forward to.

Pam @ http://alertandorientedx4.blogspot.com/ said...

Oh, my. My stomach hurts a little even thinking about this. We don't have a big trip planned this year, but may be going about 2 hours away to visit inlaws. And Tyler may not make it because of work. He's already missing a week because of camp. Oh...I had that icky drop feeling when I read this. My heart hurts for yours..

Technonana said...

O Linda, this makes me so sad for you!!! I will pray that you will enjoy your vacation anyway...
We went from vacationing with the 6of us to the 13,14,and hopefully one day 15,16,etc. There have been times when one or more could not be there, or could not be there for the whole week, and that does make you sad... My son usually has to leave us early because he goes on Mission the week after, so he has to prepare, but this year, he will be going on mission in July.
Oh and the blogging thing... my mother-in-law has a saying on her kitchen wall... "Lord fill my mouth with worthwill stuff and nudge me when I have said enough".
I don't feel the need to post EVERYDAY!!

Beverly Lewis said...

We found the answer! Just one catch...it's expensive. But oh so worth it. Two years ago we did a cruise with all of us, including my mother and sister. Cruises make fantastic family vacations where everyone can be together, but still doing things each wants to do. One small catch - this usually involves plane travel. Rut-row.
You will find new ways to spend play time together! My latest ploy invloved renting a condo and everyone traveled on their own to be there. It was great too!

annie's eyes said...

I so feel your sadness, Linda. This is the first year I have to go visit one of mine to see him, and the other two are saying goodbye next week for their summer jobs, adventures. I feel the sands of time slipping through my fingers. Being mom isn't for cowards. Love, Annette

Sonya said...

I Love your blog!! Yesturday's post made me laugh histerically! And today tugged at my heart. You are a very good writer. I'm glad to see you are going to She Speaks, I'll be there, too.

I appreciate how you ended this one with a warning to those of us in the younger child years to overlook the problems of family vacation and just enjoy! I will pass this on to my husband and God willing we will just enjoy our kids this summer. :)

Carol said...

I feel your pain. The same exact thing happened to us last summer. College Son missed vacation because he was taking a summer class. It was a major bummer. Try to have fun anyway. ~Carol

My ADHD Me said...

Hi. My sister told me about your blog. The last 2 years I have let my oldest (he's 17 now) bring a friend on vacation but I can tell that even those days are numbered----especially now that he's driving. So I can kind of relate to what you are saying. Your blog looks fun. I'm going to come back and check out some of your older posts when I have more than 2 minutes.

Miscellaneous From Missy said...

Oh sigh. I am very sorry for your boy-less vacation. In a year or so, we're facing a missing persons vacation too. I'm not looking forward to that.

Jerri Phillips said...

I have to find a kleenex box...

Ann said...

Oh I know I know! One of my favorite things to do to get ready for vacation is get all the snacks for in the van!

Ah, I remember the first time I went on family vacation where my brother and I actually got along with each other. I was a junior in high school and he was a freshman. Mom and Dad took us to Yellowstone, etc. That was a pretty fun trip.

I'm sorry it won't be the whole crew going, that would be hard and I'm sure you'll miss the others a lot.

The Others...HEY did you watch the Lost Season Finale last night? Oh man...

Michelle@Life with Three said...

Oh, this makes me sad, too. I have a girl, boy and a girl like you do. They're young now (the oldest is 5), but your post reminds me how much I love these days in the life of our family. As hard as it can be some days, it won't always be like this. Thanks for the reminder to enjoy these days (and vacations) while we can. :)

Jackie @ Our Moments Our Memories said...

Oh, this makes me sad just thinking about it! You're so right....vacations should be about fun and family, who cares about the crumbs all over the floor of the car. Good reminder!