Sorry for taking a break from my column last week, but we decided, for some strange reason, to fit in a span of five days; the last day of school activities, my birthday, a softball tournament for two girls, a dance recital for all three girls, a house full of company and then a weeklong vacation. Gotta love May!
Anyway, I'm back and with a few brain cells still intact. Even though our vacation was slipped in between the chaos, we still managed to really enjoy it and all of us are sad it's over. However, I was mulling over the whole "vacation" idea during the last miserable four hours of our trip home Sunday night, and I found it funny that every vacation starts and ends usually always the same way.
The last few days leading up to vacation are always filled with excitement and anticipation of what a super fun time were all going have and we all can't wait to leave. Everyone actually enjoys packing and has their bags of goodies and activities full and ready to go by the back door. It's a little stressful for me to make sure all five of us have everything we possibly might need for five days but the thrill of leaving makes the stress worth it.
Then the morning we take off for vacation, everyone is up early with smiles on their sweet little faces, the truck is organized and packed efficiently and we are ready to hit the open road. Dad's more relaxed and ready for a fun week off, the girls surprisingly treat each other like humans and even use their manners, and I get to chill in the front seat and dive into a new book.
Hardly an annoying sound comes from the back seat, only an occasional "are we there yet."
The first few days of vacation are wonderful. We act like a family off the Hallmark channel, all laughing and huggin' and playing games. Then about day four, the love starts to dwindle and the cheese starts to stink. The girls have had enough of being squeezed together in the backseat and sharing a hotel bed. Dad and I have had enough of taking yet another wrong turn in the city traffic and start blaming each other for every wrong guess.
By the last evening of our vacation, all five of us are mad, whether we admit it or not. The youngest child is beyond tired and freaks out over every little mishap, the 9-year-old can't seem to stand the sight of her younger sister but can't seem to do anything right according to her older sister. The 12 year old rolls her eyes at everyone's comments, no matter who it comes from and constantly asks if we can go to the mall. Dad is still upset about getting lost the day before and his irritation of the girls fighting and my comments about his driving abilities are about to send him over the edge. I'm to the point where I can't really stand anyone and the thought of loading up in the truck with all of them for the ride home, is quite dreadful.
With that being said, it is obvious that the trip home is almost exactly opposite of the ride there.
The girls bark at each other over every little thing, all the snacks and drinks are either gone or spilled in various areas of the truck, the crayons and toys are scattered where no one can find them, and Dad can't get rid of his headache, which is due to the hours of driving and the insistent whining and catfights in the back seats. I contemplate which would be worse, staying in the truck, which now smells like a trash bucket, and listening to "mom, she won't ... or mom, tell her ..." over and over, OR just simply get out and the next rest stop and start walking home.
What's sad is, I've actually given that walking option some serious thought on some vacations. It was either walk home or flip my lid. I guess the trip back home kinda makes the vacation being over not so bad. At that point, I just wanna get home so desperately, and get out of that truck and away from the madness, that if that means vacation is over then so be it.
Anyways, we always have a great time but I sure wish we came home in the same mood we left in, but after this many vacations, I've realized that's not gonna happen so I better just plan on it!