One day, when my son was an infant, I walked for 1,001 hours with him strapped to my body in his Baby Bjorn, my hand underneath his bottom for all of the just-in-cases. At home, sweaty and red, I unstrapped him, sure that he’d look older.
It was 2pm and his diaper was wet.
I thought about the woman who’d said “Cherish these days” at the grocery earlier as we trudged upstairs for a nap. “Please, let him sleep for at least two hours,” I said.
Minutes ticked by and we were at the airport for his first birthday. Vacation to family in Colorado and Montana.
The first plane ride I had with my baby may be my most favorite vacation memory. I cherish those moments.
As a kid, our vacations were mostly camping. Each summer, my parents consulted maps, weather patterns, calendars, and the neighbor’s availability to water our macrame-potted ferns. The five of us loaded up into my dad’s green Scout International named Homer, complete with a CB to converse with truckers to get the 10-4 on speed traps and non-existent traffic.
The back seats were folded down and Homer was packed with tents, sleeping bags, food, and pots made to be used on an open flame. My brothers, our dog, and I were left with two feet on top of it all to travel on. We lied down for those travels as there was no room to sit.
I remember those camping trips as magical and as a frightening pain in the ass. The whole cooking on a fire thing, pooping in the woods and bathing in the river were freeing for a couple of days.
Then, it got old, as did the musty tent smell that seemed to follow us for weeks upon returning home, regardless of the drains in regular showers and sleeping bags airing out on the porch.
There was the year that Junior the dog caught a rattlesnake and killed it just before it killed my brother, or something close enough. That may have been the year that my dad, out of nowhere, grabbed my ankle while driving to somewhere because, as the oldest, my legs were the longest and most reachable. He said “If I hear one more word about poop, gas, or vaginas, I’m leaving you all on the side of the road!”
My brothers and I got years of comedy out of that. Each time one of our parents seemed annoyed, we’d shout to one another “If I hear one more word about poop, gas, or vaginas, I’m leaving you all on the side of the road!” and burst into giggles.
I want to call my brothers now, just to yell into the phone “If I hear one more word about poop, gas, or vaginas, I’m leaving you all on the side of the road!”
That’s one of my favorite vacation memories.
Before becoming a mother, my friend Sara and I went to Turks and Caicos. SCUBA diving anywhere gives you a sense of being both tiny and invincible.
There, poised on the abyss of shallow-water diving where fish touch your face, the colors touch your heart, and the 7,000 foot abyss below gives you the sounds of whales? You’re a part of everything.
I floated there for as long as my tank allowed, shocked to find myself drifting at 90 feet (a bit deep for a recreational diver).
That may have been my favorite vacation. I cherish the memories.
It’s been a week since we got back from the beach. A last-minute trip, booked because summer’s fading and summer on the east coast doesn’t feel all the way like summer without rinsing sand from sunburned bodies and fearing for my son’s life as he stands laughing at the pounding waves.
The tide, in its fun and terror reminds me of the years and of vacations.
Of memories and feeling present in the moment because the moment is perfectly here.
Earlier this summer, Dollywood and rollercoasters. Slashing bubbles with a Minecraft sword before fireworks.
Later, sleeping with him in the hotel despite his declaring himself independent that way. Feeling like it was a perfect moment sleeping next to him when seven years before was the final night of him sleeping inside of me. Of waiting to meet him and his tiny face.
That night, the eve of seven, may be my favorite vacation memory. I cherish that memory.
This has been a Finish the Sentence Friday post. This week’s sentence is “One of my favorite vacation memories is…”
Host: Kristi from http://www.findingninee.com