what i learned on my summer vacation

The fridge is empty, last night’s laziness having triumphed over practicality’s grocery run to replenish.

The children are stirring early, time zones and travel having thrown off their inner clocks.

The laundry looms large, shirts sticky with sunscreen and ice cream and sand.

We’re home.

A whirlwind of wedding; a long, lazy stretch of beach; a week of family. In a summer when our attention has been turned inward – boxes still begging to be unpacked, house projects clamoring for every second we can spare – what a breath of fresh air it was to leave. To relax, to recenter, to enjoy being together.

To do nothing and then rest afterward.

We’ve traveled a fair amount with kiddos in our short years as parents, and we learn from every trip. Yet perhaps the wisest move my husband has made is to book our flights with a Saturday return, giving us plenty of time for reentry before Monday morning. It’s the utter opposite of my travel philosophy (“cram every possible ounce of fun into every last second,” which has, coincidently, resulted in more than one squealing-to-the-curb, sprinting-to-the-gate, screaming-from-the-stress airport arrival). But I’ve come to love it.

Soaking up the Sunday sunrise on my back porch, typing away with no toddler tugging at my sleeve, I’m reveling in one last day of vacation before work calls tomorrow. Today I’ll write. He’ll tend the garden. We’ll play outside.

I’ve got plenty I want to blog about from the past week – don’t we always learn lots from our summer vacations? – but all that can wait for one more day.

Because, to coin a phrase from an old parenting poem I love, the laundry and groceries can wait till tomorrow. For holidays end, as I’ve learned to my sorrow.

So quiet down, cleaning. Routine, go to sleep.

I’m still on vacation. And vacations don’t keep.

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