The Family Vacation A.K.A. Things We Do for Our Kids

We recently took a vacation.  Doesn’t that sound nice? Ah, vacation. Getting away from it all.  Relaxing with a nice cool drink by the side of the pool.  Now, that may be exactly what some people get to enjoy.  I, however, have two kids.  Anyone reading this who has kids knows that the reality of a vacation doesn’t match the brochure.  Let me tell you a little bit about how our vacation went.

We planned a trip to the Wisconsin Dells with another family.  Between the two families, we had a head count of seven.  Both families own the staple of the modern family unit—the seven seater mini-van.  Perfect.  We could all go in one vehicle and the kids will have a blast.  Then we started thinking about all of the things we needed to pack in the van besides little bodies.  Or in the case of my five foot eight inch 12-year-old, big bodies.  If we packed really tight we could get my whole family’s clothes into one suitcase.  That would save space.  Parents, have you ever told your kids they need to share a suitcase, or anything else for that matter?  How did that work out for you?  Exactly. Okay, so separate suitcases.  We could still make that work.

What about food and drink?  We would need a cooler.  Or two, or three as it turned out.  Oh, and we couldn’t forget the entertainment.  Books, DVDs, hand-held devices.  Whatever happened to license plate bingo or the alphabet game?  It was clear the mini-van idea was now out of the question.  Gas was too expensive for us to want to take two vehicles.  Luckily, our friends have an RV.  We could all fit.  All of our stuff could fit.  The kids got to move around a bit more.  Perfect.  Well, it wasn’t perfect, but it was pretty darn good.  Better than the Griswolds’ adventure anyway.  Granted, before we even pulled out of my driveway, I had slammed my thumb in the door of the RV.  It is still a very nice shade of purple.  I’d say eggplant.

We finally got to our destination after hours of “are we there yet” questions.  We, the adults, spent the next three days following our kids on their various adventures.  Have you ever gone down a waterslide that flushes you out the bottom like a toilet?  I have.  Have you ever been zip-lining even though you are afraid of heights?  I haven’t, I was too chicken.  My friend did though since her daughter is a daredevil and she couldn’t look more scared than her 11-year-old.  Go-Karts, ropes course, horseback riding: You name it. We did it.

These are the things we do for our kids.  Imagine what we can accomplish if we put forth that much effort into their education.  It’s not even all about effort.  It’s about the focus.  When we put the focus directly on the kids, they thrive.  It can be hard as the parent.  I know I didn’t want to do all of those things.  A nap sounded pretty good to me most of the time.  But guess what, I ended up having a lot of fun as well.  That translates to our kids schooling as well.  What do the kids want and need to be successful?  There will probably be times we have to do something we don’t want to in order for our kids to see results. I am going to give it a shot and, who knows, I might actually like it in the end.