We are on Spring Break this week. The kids and I journeyed all day Friday up the interstate to spend a week with the grandparents in Alabama. I love coming here. My cell phone gets practically no reception. I spend very little time on the computer. The television isn't even on for background noise. My son has cousins to play with and my daughter has grandparents, aunts & uncles to snuggle with.
I went shoe shopping with my sister-in-law yesterday (without ANY children) and we found the most adorable pair of taupe colored snakeskin pumps you've ever seen. And they were on the clearance rack, and they were $10.00. We each bought a pair. We might have also high-fived and cheered in the middle of the shoe store.
Yes, this is a great way to spend a Spring Break.
But just in case I forgot for a moment that life has come a LONG way for the spring breaks of yore... my almost-five-year-old boy believes it's his duty to remind me that parenthood NEVER takes a vacation.
We've made due with time outs in back rooms and bathrooms, in restaurants and relatives homes. We've discussed the rudeness of burping, and we've sworn off sodas for the rest of our trip.
He's informed my in-laws (who do such a good job of choosing to speak words of affirmation and encouragement around the kiddos) that the Skittles he bought in a vending machine are "So good I think I'm going to die..." (I thought I might, too).
He's whined about finishing his dinner because he was absolutely convinced his stomach might explode, then managed to find room to polish off 1 1/2 smores and 12 additional marshmallows.
He's refused to wear anything but a short-sleeved shirt in the chilly 50 degree weather.
He's managed to bring up the topic of "Bad Words We Aren't Allowed To Say" at the dinner table twice. I used the opportunity to patiently remind him that I haven't changed my mind about the word "booty" and that no matter how sweetly he says it, that yes indeed, "Shut Up" is still a bad thing to say.
My husband (who joined us for a few days of our trip) was able to stop him before he "christened" my in-laws front bushes. Apparently, indoor plumbing is a luxury wasted on him.
Then again... indoor plumbing IS one of his favorite topics of conversation. Apparently, any joke is funnier when the punchline includes the word "Bathroom".
His lastest line has been, "Dude! Are you kidding me?" Don't worry, it comes off just as disrespectful in person as it does in writing.
But even as I shake my head in disbelief and pray for strength, I hear him saying please and thank you to his grandma. I see him trying new foods just because his cousin is. I watch him stop all his fun to give his baby sister a little love. And I gladly obliged as he asks me to carry him into the bedroom and tuck him into his bed.
I quietly type a recap of our day as my children sleep peacefully in the big bed I'll be crawling into in just a moment. I'll listen to their baby snores and wiggles... sounds I don't hear when they're sleeping across the house in their own beds at home.
And I'll fall asleep tonight thanking God for a wonderful break.... and praying for strength and a big old roll of duct tape.