Notes from a family vacation, Pt. 1


Ben's visit to the Emergency Medical Clinic. No family vacation is complete without one.

So we just returned from a family “vacation”.  We’ve just got to come up with a more suitable name for the act of packing up one’s shit show and moving it, temporarily, to another city.

A privilege?  Yes.  Truly.

An opportunity to catch up on sleep, put your feet up, and plow through all those books you’ve been wanting to read?  Not exactly.

I appreciate the relatively new term OBLICATION (n):  a required or expected visit to family/in-laws during your vacation time. (source: Urban Dictionary). I suppose a lot depends on your extended family, whether you’re sharing accommodations, who is/is not currently medicated, who has/has not willingly participated in their own personal psychotherapy and for how long, how strong the margaritas are, etc.  I jest because I’m pretty much a teetotaler these days.  And no one is that crazy.  Okay, maybe some of us, but I’m not coughing up any names.  Also, our extended family lives close enough to permit more frequent, bite-sized visits. (Which we are pretty darn lucky to have).  So we’ve been spared, for now, the obligation/vacation.

Oblication doesn’t quite cover the kind of family vacation one takes with their young children.  You know, the kind that involves lugging a lot of stuff and eating crap at the airport, kids a little extra whiny because you woke them at 4:15am to get to the airport on time, one child up the first night at your destination with a high fever, another child at the out-of-town medical center the next day with a mild concussion.  You know what I’m talking about.   If there is a name for this other kind of family vacation, let me know.  I’d love to hear YOUR suggestions or stories in the comments section.  (You see it up there? Under the title and next to the date?  I do love hearing from you).

I’m not a snarky-blog-kinda gal. It’s generally not my style.  So thanks for indulging me.  I just had to let it out.  If I can’t tell you, who can I tell?  It’s just that when you’ve got the strap of your carry-on bag digging welts into your shoulder and a heavy three-and-a-half-year-old who insists on being carried, too, and your kids are begging for souvenirs and you’re sweating through your shirt and you haven’t even left New York yet. . . .and you’re thinking, Let me know when the vacation part starts.

My romanticized version coming soon.  Because it really was lovely and sweet, in so many ways.

I’m just not going to say it was easy.

6 thoughts on “Notes from a family vacation, Pt. 1

  1. ….oh my goodness, I am laughing so hard my kids may be late to school….I have learned to think of a “vacation” as really just a “change-of-location”………5 year old Gracey threw up promptly Friday night when we returned from the airport from our “change in location”….hard to say if she was illness sick or sick from the 5 days straight of chicken fingers and barely a vegetable, or the chewing gum she swallowed on the plane….hard to be sure.
    p.s. The only reason I am not more concerned about the concussion is the smile on Ben’s face….hope he is really OK.

    • Ben truly is okay. 🙂

      When we were in the airport Sunday, I was telling Thomas about the trip we took to Miami when he was a baby. The morning we were leaving to come back home, he threw up ALL OVER the bed (real crime scene kind of action), on my lap on the plane ride, and on the floor at LaGuardia baggage claim. It was grisly.

  2. Oh you bring it all back so vividly. Like the time I wisely packed extra clothes in carry-on for my kids but forgot to pack any for me. So when one of them threw up all over me somewhere 30,000 miles up, my only options for change of clothing were size 3T. There were some priceless moments: like when Johnny decided “no more diapers” in the lavatory of a Boeing 707 somewhere between Rome and New York and I was pleading with him to please, just wear one more diaper and be done with it when we got home. (He didn’t and he was fine and never wore a diaper again. Go figure).
    Soon you will remember not to be so naive when you head out on family vacation. I remember heading off to a week at the beach and bringing my usual four or five books….only to not crack even one open. What was I thinking?

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