AUTHOR: Carolyn Savage | POSTED: April 8, 2013 | COMMENTS: 28 Comments
We are home.
I’ve never been so grateful to mutter those words, but after a two weeks away, I’m happy to be sleeping in my own bed–and so are the twins.
I love our spring break tradition of seeking refuge from the cold and gray in sunny Florida. Getting there and back is hell, but the “in between” is always worth it. Visiting with “my people” and leisurely morning trips to the playground followed by boat rides and refreshing dips in the pool are wonderful reprieves from the long winter days of northwest Ohio. I always return from our April trip with a renewed enthusiasm for all things warm. Signs of spring are starting to pop up in our own backyard which means the promise of summer is right around the corner.
I’d love to report that our trip was perfection. It usually is pretty hiccup free. This year, however, the second half of our vacation contained some pitfalls for our crew. I’ve heard other families talk of vacations where everything went wrong and have always felt lucky that we had never experienced these kinds of mishaps. Unfortunately our streak of good fortune ran out this year and that translated into morphing our dynamic, at times, into complete and utter dysfunction.
It was in those moments we became “that family”.
If you aren’t familiar with who “that family” is, allow me to enlighten you. “That family” is the family making a scene in any number of public venues throughout their travels. They are an impatient, frustrated, and rather deft group of people who appear to be in need of some sort of intervention. Often “that family” can be heard whispering angry messages of contempt to one another. Usually the mother is a total bitch, the father is dumb as a rock (which, I’m guessing, adds to the bitchiness of the mother), and the children are ill behaved. “That family” is usually lost, or has lost something important. They are disorganized fools. Oh…and one member of “that family” is always barfing, on the verge of barfing, or has just barfed.
How could my lovely family…
….become “that family”?
Our family became “that family” when…
- Drew decided to chow down on a Big Mac, large chocolate shake, and large fry before boarding the plane to Florida and after running a track meet. By the end of his two hour flight he’d vomited sixteen times, used the bathroom ten more, and was officially diagnosed with food poisoning. I’d like to take this moment to publicly apologize to the other 200+ passengers on his flight. Oh…and after three bags of IV fluids, various drugs and an introduction to the Cape Coral emergency room, he’s fine.
- Sean decided to ask me (after being up all night at the ER with Drew) if Reagan and Isabella had eaten their daily allowances of vegetables the week I’d been in Florida without him. My very loud and easily overheard answer? “No a$$hole. I fed them nothing but Twizzlers and Skittles.” I’d like to publicly apologize to my parents (we were at their house) and their neighbors (who most likely overheard).
- I lost our car keys last Tuesday morning at the grocery store, stranding our entire family for five hours. This may have been our most sustained duration as “that family” which included Mary Kate asking anyone and everyone for “a ride back to the ocean because my mommy can’t keep anything straight” (Her exact words. She has a knack for repeating phrases she hears elsewhere.); Isabella face planting on the concrete while entangling herself with an old man’s grocery cart while no one was minding her; and numerous phone calls to AAA roadside service that ended in curse filled disconnections because the cell service on Sanibel Island is less than stellar. I’d like to publicly apologize to everyone who visited Jerry’s grocery store on Tuesday, March 26th. (Oh…and the keys were found…on Thursday morning.)
- Isabella got car sick enroute to my father’s 75th birthday party, requiring us to pull into a Fort Myers Walgreen’s parking lot to dismantle a vomit covered carseat, disrobe a vomit covered child, and fumigate our newly rekeyed Toyota Siena. If you happened to drive by at the time, allow me to reassure you…we aren’t a family of seven living in our car. I know we had a toddler hanging out curbside in nothing but a diaper, a teenager threatening to spray her down with Lysol and a chocolate covered 4 year old who was eating a discounted Easter bunny that she so “sweetly” insisted on buying inside of the Walgreens, but it’s important to remember…appearances are sometimes deceiving.
Honestly folks there are a few more moments that include lost boarding passes, toddlers “playing” with bottles of Advil PM during a layover in Laguardia, and Reagan eating off of a stranger’s plate in a restaurant because someone (we’re still not sure who) wasn’t watching her; but I’ll spare you. It’s almost too much to rehash.
Regardless, we had a great time. We ate at Sanibel restaurants that are old favorites, watched movies every night, and laughed and laughed.
This was our last spring break, for a while at least, with all of our children. So as hectic as it got, and for as many moments that we spent as “that family”, I tried as hard as I could to soak up every moment. I think that’s what family vacations are all about. Making all kinds of memories. Memories that make us smile, and even memories, that some day, we’ll laugh about.
So…we are home.
And as always…we are “keepin’ it real”.