Today I woke up insanely early, got sunburned, never started the book I intended to and then had to deal with an incredibly sassy two-year-old. It sounds like an awful start to our vacation, but in fact, it was great.
My kids did well on the 2.5 hour flight here yesterday. They got a little antsy toward the end, but i was able to play a little game of musical chairs, take one to the bathroom, refresh some drinks and get everyone ready to landing without any tears. They did fantastic.
We had a bit of a drive from the airport, 1.5 hours to be exact. it was after 9 p.m. so the kids fell asleep while we caught up with my grandparents in the car. By the time we got to their house, it was after 11 p.m. and they were just waking up and catching their second wind.
I hadn’t slept so I was tired and I was sharing a bed with two very wound-up little girls. I said the words “stop it,” “stay off your sister,” “don’t pull her hair,” “those are cars driving by” and “please lay down” at least four dozen times each before I finally decided to sleep between them. Things were much better from that point forward.
This was good and bad.
I couldn’t turn over. I couldn’t get out of bed. I couldn’t adjust the blankets the way that I wanted them.
But I woke up in the morning to the smell of orange blossoms, the tickle of my daughter’s hair in my face and the warmth of two little girls cuddled right up against me.
After getting up, running some errands and having lunch, we headed to the pool where I spent an entire uninterrupted hour in the pool with the girls. My mom helped out, but on any regular occasion, I would have found any excuse to get out, lay in the sun, whatever. I have a hard time when it comes to lots and lots and lots of hands-on time.
But today I did it.
After that, I played bubbles with them. I painted their toenails and I got them ready for bed. Thanks to my parents and grandparents being here, I was able to get in a few minutes of time to myself here and there, but it proved to me that I’m not that hands-off mom that I think that I am. I’m a bigger part of my kids’ lives than I think that I am.
Tomorrow, I don’t plan to get sunburned. I hope to start my book. I hope to wake up a little more rested. But if all I accomplish is digging in the sand with my kids, I’ll have those memories when I’m sitting back at my desk thinking about how much I suck at balancing work and mothering.
This week, I was able to make all of our dreams come true.