I had the best vacation last week. The girls and I tagged along on Josh's annual trip to Orlando for work and got to take a little Disney vaca. I freaking love that place! They make it so easy to manage it all with wee ones in tow... Granted, it is NOT cheap -- we managed it because Josh was working, so his airfare and the hotel and some meals were all expensed, and he had even been comped some park tickets somehow, so that was a major score. So Disney rocked, and I'm dying to go back, but that wasn't what made my week the best in years.
Vacations since Delma was born 3.5 years ago have not been fun. They've pretty much all been major busts in one way or another, and though our family vacation last summer really was great, it was our first time away with Mimi added to the mix and it was tough for us. Mostly the problem has been our unrealistic expectations -- the fact of the matter is, vacationing with young children is not relaxing, and gone (for now) are the days of sipping fuity umbrella drinks and reading books by the pool. But it can still be great, it's just taken Josh and me a long time to adjust to our new reality and find a way to stop just seeing all the things we can't do right now, and embrace the things we can.
This trip was like a honeymoon with my girls. They're little, and they had their moments, but overall both of them did great with the flying, and all the schlepping, and the long days, and the sleeping in new strange places. They traveled like champs. And for me, this was my first time with the two of them when I had NOTHING else to think about. It was the three of us alone just about every day while Josh was working and I had absolutely nothing on my mind but being with them. No lingering thoughts of work, no nagging thoughts of laundry or dishes, nothing at all. It was fantastic, and we all really needed it. It gave me the opportunity to just be their mom and nothing else, and they loved it as much as I did.
Mimi is a challenging kid, and this was the first extended period of time when I didn't feel like I was just managing or handling her, but truly enjoying her. And I swear she started talking more just in the past week of us being together. She is a mommy's girl and she finally got the undivided time with me that she's been craving.
And even better yet, all that joy has stayed with us since we've come home. Our harried mornings and evenings are a little lighter, at least for me, and I feel like I've found a way to be more present when I'm with them. Life with kids has not been easy for me, it's been a long and rough transition. But I'm getting there. Disney really is magic. :)