Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Vacation? Really

Much to my surprise, people want to hear more about my vacation. Of course, the problem is - as with many things - the more time has separated me from my alleged vacation the less I remember. I think, but I'll try.

For instance, I mentioned the ride to finally get to the resort and indoor water park. The fun really started when we got there. Well, fun if you were a kid anyway. Whomever coined the term "family vacation" obviously never had a family. Thus the title of my last vacation post. Why would I say such a thing? Because I HAVE a family and trust me, it was no vacation for me. It was probably less so for my wife. The kids? They thought it was great - but for mom and dad it was "welcome to the Zannini Family Traveling Road Show."

Putting aside the hurting on the family budget that our two days in the fake, indoor Florida sun cost us - let's think of what it cost us in effort. Like, say planning. It's safe to say that two days away with four kids takes about the same amount of primary and contingency planning as one of the Apollo moon missions. Maybe more. After all, NASA only had to worry about three adults and on Apollo they had bathroom facilities built right into the space suits. Not the case for the family in the trusty family van. But boy would that have been nice.

As parents, we all know the drill, the thrill and the dread of the words coming from our little precious treasures "I HAVE TO GO TO THE BATHROOM!" Of course, it's usually said immediately after we've gone past the last exit for 10 miles on a stretch of road where not only is there no rest stop, but the sides of the road either go up 50 feet of blasted rock facing on one side or down 50 feet on the other. The question is - what do you do?

Me - I pray. I think even if I didn't have a religious bent to me anyway, this is a place I would still pray. I'm praying for a lot of things, like for example, the wisdom to understand WHY we just let the kid drink the one liter juice bottle we had packed for her. Or maybe I'm wondering - why didn't we have her go to the bathroom * before * we left the house? I'm also praying that when we got the van we were smart enough to have gotten the seats Scotch guarded. I'm praying for the capacity to become a real life McGyver, and trying to figure out how to build a porta-potty from the baby's portable high chair and the cup-holders from the front of the stroller. Most of all I'm praying that every state trooper for the next 10 miles either falls asleep or has just had someone in a bright red sports car go by them at 100 miles an hour - that way no one will notice the gray Grand Caravan going by at 90 because the kid is now saying "Daddddddyyyy! I hap to go bad!"

Yeah, right. Vacation.

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