Last week our family headed off on our much-anticipated vacation. Our older boys were really excited as we were going to the Great Wolf Lodge in Washington. They had been counting down the days before our departure. They could barely wait to go and play at the spectacular Water Park they had been seeing online.
As we started out on our journey, it seemed like we couldn’t get there fast enough and the chorus of “Are we nearly there yet? ” seemed to start even before we hit Eugene. With some unplanned stops along the way it took us a little longer to arrive and was a tedious drive for us all. We were so thankful to finally arrive.
When the boys walked through the front doors of the lodge they were totally in awe of the décor and the excitement that lay ahead of them. They were very anxious to play, but the thing is it takes time to check in, find your way around the resort and change into swimwear. Our little people were starting to get pretty antsy, none of the above was fitting into their timeline of fun.
It struck me during our trip that even though vacation is a break away from our regular daily routine, the challenges of every day life are still the same, being away doesn’t change those things that we deal with as a family every day. Our boys had a fabulous time and so did we, but each of us had our own expectations of what we wanted from the trip. For the boys everything pretty much cycled around their timeline, their agenda for the trip was to play, play and play, with the occasional stop to eat. I found myself getting a little frustrated at times as it seemed like they weren’t taking into consideration the needs of the rest of the family. I realized that I needed to be gracious with our boys, after all it was pretty exciting and it is not every day you get to stay in a hotel with a huge water park inside. But at the same time we needed to communicate to them the need to be patient and considerate of the other family members. So we talked to the boys about this and it seemed to help with the frustration levels for us all.
Even though it wasn’t maybe a respite vacation for me and my husband we found it to be just what we needed to reconnect and just have fun with our boys. I loved that the boys got so much delight out of watching their mama scream her head off on the ‘howling tornado’. I loved how they would report back to me about their dad’s fun antics on the water slides. I loved watching our baby boy splash in the water and most of all I loved watching the joy on their little faces. It really did make the long drive and long busy days worth it.
But you know what, I also learned from observing other families on our trip that we are pretty much the same as every one else, melt downs, expectations and all. Our family had a great vacation and came home with new memories stored in our hearts.
Jayne Gautreau is married with three sons. Read her Mondays on Douglas County Moms.