just 5 days from today, the kids and I will leave on vacation. We will be gone from our cozy little home for 3 weeks. It seems unreal. 3 weeks, what kind of luxury is this?!? 3 weeks without work, without school, without a care in the world. I am still stunned. This is not my reality.
I am not one of those people who believes that vacations are a right. I did not grow up in a family that “vacationed”. We would take trips, sure, with our pop-up camper, to places like the South Dakota Badlands, or Winnipeg, once to Washington DC, and one time(that I remember, vaguely) to California. Most often time away was a 90 mile drive to a retreat center in Wisconsin, where we could park the pop-up, erect a couple of auxillery tents and stay for a couple days, in time to get back to work on Monday morning.
But this was ok, more than ok really, it was fun. I have great memories of our pop-up trailer. The nights around the campfires, singing songs, telling stories, eating smores and camp pies (you know, those treats, 2 pieces of bread smothered in butter, filled with cherry pie filling, clamped together in a little iron do-hickey and set on the fire until crispy). We would catch fireflies, swim by the moonlight in the lake, pick black berries and wild plums.
But we did not “vacation”.
Vacations were something that other people went on. Vacations were different, elusive, exotic.
Now, here we are, getting ready to go on a full blown vacation.
and I feel a bit out of my league.
First, we are heading to Minnesota, where we will spend some time with my family. I am so excited to meet my newest niece, to hold and kiss that little girl. My kids are terribly excited to see their cousins, the 7 girl cousins and 1 boy who live right there! We plan to celebrate everyones birthday with a big party at Showalter Central (this is what my brother-in-law Brad has named my folks’ place). To see April and her crew. Lisa, Jeff, Abby, Tate and baby Broder. There is the hope to connect with a friend I have not seen in many, many years.
After over a week in Minnesota, the boys and I will leave for Madison, WI,(don’t feel bad for Sunny, she is going to be with Grandma, whom she loves 995 times more than she loves mommy, this by her own calculation) where we will reconnect with more friends. So much of my heart is in Madison, I can hardly wait to get there. Cathy and Jim, and their little girl Kajsa are there. Jen and Roy, Nancy and Lawrence, Linda and Jim, Lili and Hans, Justine, Michael, Layne…. the list goes on and on!
And then, yes, VACATION…. from Madison, the boys and I will travel with my friend Justine, and her boys, and her mom, to Grand Cayman. We anticipate a week of snorkeling and sunshine.
I have never had a week of VACATION. Where there is nothing expected, nothing planned. Where the only thing I have to do is apply sunscreen. I am not sure how this is going to go. Will I be anxious due to lack of task? Will I feel guilt (umm, certainly, as guilt is something I live with everyday!). Do I deserve this vacation? Probably not.
But I can tell you this:
I am going to enjoy it. Because for me, this very well may be once in a lifetime.