I woke up this morning sandwiched between two of the cutest little boys I have ever seen.
One on his back with arms held high over his head, emitting sounds like a fast-asleep cartoon character, deep inhales and sweet exhales with sound. The other clutching my back like a baby koala, whose black eyes formed crescents when I looked over my shoulder at 7:30 a.m. to find him patiently waiting for me to join him in the land of awake.
Not surprisingly, neither required much “wake-up” time. We went from 0-60 miles per hour in a matter of seconds.
Sarah slept with Daddy in our hotel room, a room in my husband’s hometown, a small town in southern Indiana that is not typically a vacation destination.
But for our family, this was our summer weekend getaway. My trip to Ghana pretty much blew through our travel budget and it was well worth it.
Because what I found this weekend is that as long as you get your parents away from dishes and laundry and errands and food prep and other domestic things that suck up much of their time and you stay in a hotel with a pool, it doesn’t really matter where in the world you are.
It’s just fun. And more relaxed. And we make giggles and squeal and are louder than we should be and we stand in awe of a machine that produces pancakes at the touch of a button.
And me, tired old mama with the overwhelming list of things to do to just keep the house functioning, I got to just enjoy being with my three and their daddy. Without the interruptions of life.
So again, I see through the eyes of a child the lesson on simplicity I so often forget, the eyes that get clouded by too much adult and not enough kid, that get tired too easily and don’t see what’s right in front of her on most days.
And I thank because I know.
I know that the time is going too fast already, that they will one day leave this nest and I’ll be left wishing I could just wipe off one more handprint from the sliding glass doors, yearning for the time when I had to sternly tell the boys to stop laughing for the hundreth time which of course, only produced more laughter. Wishing my daughter would ask me to play pretend up in her room for “girl time” and longing to hold her pink bundle of a firstborn baby in my arms while I rocked her in the green rocking chair.
When we returned from our weekend of visiting JJ’s family, there was a letter from Sarah’s first grade teacher.
And I’m jolted, eyes wide open, to see that it really is going by in the blink of an eye though my oldest is only six and the others, the two wild hyenas that melt my heart, a mere four and three.
This is precious time. And I know it.
And he said: “I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” – Matthew 18:3
Meeting a cousin for the first time and swimming – does it get any better than that?
Why did we ever think they could share a bed? Just plain asking for it…
And to think I once said my children would never wear clothing with licensed characters in public…#10,908 of things I said I wouldn’t do as a parent that I let go of when I entered reality
And yes, as a matter of fact, I do wish I had invented “Pillow Pets”…
Lest we forget it’s Monday? I must continue counting for there are just so many. Thank you, God, for:
541. Time away with them – all four of them.
542. Being able to celebrate a new bride and watching my sweet soon-to-be-flower-girl daughter help her open gifts at a shower
543. A sweet almost-two year boy with a twinkle in his eyes and balled fists when he’s excited. Absolutely precious.
544. Time spent playing at the park where my husband played as a child
545. Fantastically wonderful Diet Vanilla Cokes from the “Zip ‘n’ Sip”
546. Family that loves deeply even when we don’t see them often
547. Children who are getting a little bit older and are a little more portable
548. The nap that everyone took on Saturday afternoon. Sheer loveliness.
549. Making it to the toilet when he said “I’m gonna sicky-up”. At a restaurant. Good times.
550. The joy of coming home and appreciating the familiar we so often take for granted.
May you find some time to get away. May you not tell them to quiet down. May you let the dishes pile up a bit and just be present – no matter where you are.
Joining in with the usual Monday suspects I adore:
Ann for “Multitude Monday” and Jen for “Soli Deo Gloria Sisterhood”….
Sweet post. The simple getaways are often the best. I can identify with your boys – mine are 2 and 4. I also swore they would never wear licensed character stuff. Ha! I think we have those same t-shirts and pajamas :)
P.S. I grew up in Illinois but not far from Vincennes. That was where we went to shop (believe it or not!) and I took dance lessons there! Small world.
These days are precious, aren’t they? I have to remind myself of that in the midst of the chaos and the hurried. I love #550 – The joy of coming home and appreciating the familiar we so often take for granted. Amen! :)
*Gasp*…small town Indiana isn’t a tourist attraction..say wah?? Hehehe…and oh dear…LOL with tears over the pillow pet comment!!
Loved this post. My parents have offered us to drive with them to go visit “home” in two weeks. It will be a budget “friendly” trip and we won’t do much in the way of exciting, but just being is all I really need for now. Thank you for the wonderful reminder of the anticipation I can have. ~Jessica
Such a touching post! I love #549. It’s always a nice surprise when my kid decides to throw up at a restaurant out of the middle of nowhere AND onto the table….good times indeed. That pillow pet look so cute! I’m thinking about buying the same one for my daughter.
We too do the visitng family vacations. It is so nine just to have the grandparents come here or to go there and get a break while someone else (grandpa-my boys love him) entertains my kids and someone else (grandma-who needs to be needed) does some of the other work I normally do.
So good to see you guys! Westin had so much fun playing with the kids. Hope to do it again soon.
I took my girls LOTS of practice to sleep in the same bed (they are now 5 1/2 and 7). I am so glad that you found such peace and contentment in your vacation. How often simple will satisfy and yet…that is not what I plan.
Heading to a hotel as a family is one of our favorite things to do as a family. We still do it . . . swing by and pick our daughters up from their apartment and head to a hotel to laugh, talk, pray, eat TOGETHER.
I am right there with you on your sentiments as my youngest starts kindergarten in SIX DAYS. I didn’t cry when my first got on that bus 2 years ago for the first time, but I think I’m going to be a basketcase this year for little man. This was the perfect post for me to read today as I am struggling with a messy house, a slight case of OCD, and 2 little boys who will be leaving me behind 6 days from now. :( I’ll have plenty of time to do dishes then.