C’mon, you know that chorus! Everyone sing along!
Okay, so some of you aren’t old enough to remember that song. As vacations go, this wasn’t bad at all. No visits to the emergency room, state patrol pull-overs (Yes, B, your Arizona adventure remains alone in the annals of family history!), hardly even a sunburn. Little Miss did go through three pairs of sunglasses, leaving each along the way. There’s a Mickey hoodie left behind at Pensacola, but that will come in the mail. Everything happened on the day it was supposed to happen and no unexpected surprises.
While this is the stuff of parental satisfaction, it does leave something wanting on the Family Story scale. The afore-mentioned traffic stop, where mother saved the day when the Arizona Highway Patrol discovered our darkened headlight, for example (see comment 4). We still talk about that. Or the night in some muddled single-parent state, I let M, at 17, drop me and her young sister at Phantom of the Opera in Toronto while she took B, maybe 14, to find some concert in the eastern suburbs of the city with my car. By themselves. What was I thinking? I was just grateful not to be driving in downtown Toronto, surpassed in crazy driving by maybe only Chicago.
Or the time we picked S up after a custodial visit and her mother sent along a huge purple Barney cake half-wrapped in Saran. I was one of the few in our crowded van of seven who didn’t end up sitting in it at some point. Maybe that was the same year M lost her retainer in a Days Inn pool in Charlotte and while all the girls were diving to the bottom of the pool to help her find it, only poor S came back to the surface with a handful of…poop. (She insists she has yet to stay in a Days Inn again, even some 20 years later.)
But this will be the vacation when Little Miss learned how words on car license plates told you where they came from, or how she learned her way around the Disney resort so she became our navigator, telling us where we got on and off the buses. This was the magic time when the Cabana Boy and Ditto Boy became the roller coaster Mountaineers, traveling together on Space Mountain, Splash Mountain, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad and scariest of all, Expedition Everest (click video if you dare!).
This was also my first visit to M at her house since she grew up. It is odd visiting your grown children, seeing how they do things–differently than you, even. And like I always said when they were kids, “When you have your own house, you can play your music as loud as you want.” Sure, after everything I said, THAT’s what she remembers.
But the one axiom that always applies, is that we need the vacation AFTER the vacation, to get caught up on everything that we missed! I’ll be posting more later in the week, when I can see my desk again. Till then, think warm thoughts!