As We Prepare for Our Trip

Dear Children,

As we prepare for our upcoming trip, I would like to explain some things to you.

This is a vacation. It is our first vacation in quite a while that doesn’t involve relatives, sleeping bags, or our imaginations. Mommy spent all of our money on this vacation, and some we don’t have. I am familiar with your “easy come, easy go” approach to money, but this is a big deal for me. Please, please, please don’t screw it up.

Unfortunately, vacations tend to involve a lot of things you hate, such as sitting still in a car/plane seat for long periods of time, your siblings, being carsick, new places, new people, and new food.

This Is SO Boring!

This Is SO Boring!

The good news is that they also involve a lot of things you love, such as being bribed with treats and electronics, irritating strangers, finding new ways to put off going to bed, jumping on new furniture, and generally forgetting all structure and rules. If you can please just bear with me through the first group of items, the second group will be so much more enjoyable!

OK, OK, you can see right through me. The more you protest and reject the first group, the more likely you are to either indulge in or be rewarded with the second group. But please, please, for the love of all that’s good, be quiet and don’t provoke the implementation of any kind of martial airplane law in the skies.

I know you don’t really care yet what people think, or at least adult people, but Mommy does, and Mommy is the person who decides if we’re eating hotel room apples and instant rice packs or McDonald’s on this vacation. Mommy wants all of the nice plane people to think she is a good mommy with above-average, sweet children. Mommy is afraid of looking like a harpy with a glass of booze, reading about Kim Kardashian while barking across the aisle to tell her unkempt kids to stop punching each other.

Drinking to Forget

Drinking to Forget

Please don’t make me look like that. I have a master’s degree and I have read all the parenting books and fed you organic produce. Mommy is worried enough at what people will think when your eyes are glued to a screen while your tongues dangle out of your mouths. If you won’t even do that…Please. Just do this for me.

There will be a time difference in our destination. Based on your behavior after the time change, I am concerned about this. Based on the fact that at least one of you wakes me up each night complaining that you’re scared/your butt hurts/you have a mosquito bite/you peed, and then again in the morning before I am ready, I am concerned that this will not be a restful trip. Believe me–if your body says it’s time to wake up, but it’s pitch black outside, that means it’s 3 a.m., not 6 a.m. Even if your brother is awake too. Even if he toots and you all think it’s just so funny. Even if all three of you are in the room, and the bunk beds and pillows would make such a good fort. Really. It’s 3 a.m. I swear.

We are staying in a domicile that does not belong to us. Please do not break the things you find there, even if it’s “boring” because all of the toys you never play with are not there. You don’t even like those toys. Imagine you’re having a fun sleepover in this new place.

If you ask why I am busy writing instead of focusing on your cartoon program, it is because I am writing a letter of sincere apology to my parents, who took us on family vacations. I never understood why they were so grumpy, and simply chalked it up to bad personalities, but now I understand. I want them to know that now I understand and I am sorry. When I was a child, we didn’t even HAVE smartphones and tablets to entertain us! We just had lame “walkmans,” which did not come preloaded with only our favorite songs, and instead played tiresome “tapes.”

It Just Ate My Paula Abdul Tape!

It Just Ate My Paula Abdul Tape!

Sometimes you’d buy a tape and find out you liked just one song on each side, and had to spend 30 minutes trying to rewind to the right spot. We had to look out the window and count cars and punch each other when we saw out of state license plates. There were no DVD players! On airplanes, we had to just sleep or color. YOU DON’T EVEN KNOW HOW LUCKY YOU ARE.

Sorry, I digress. I am feeling a little tense.

In short, you can’t understand heavenly rewards or karma yet, but please just believe that if you are kind to me on this vacation, good things will happen to you. And you don’t have to write me a letter of apology in 30 years if you Please. Just. Let. Me. Enjoy. This.

 

Love,

Mommy

 

 

Comments

  1. Angie Witt:

    Another great blog. It’s like you read my mind.

    Reply

  2. Karen Nicles:

    I hope yours is better than our 2nd last summer trip which was so bad that I am not sure why after day 3 we didn’t turn around and bring our grandkids home. It was the worst you could imagine and all we wanted to do is have good memories. It ruined this year’s trip though and we cancelled our trip to Orlando, to sightsee and see their favorite Aunt (my younger daughter) as we wouldn’t risk an airplane trip for 6 hours to find out that three days later we made a mistake. Maybe they will learn, maybe not…They were 11 and 8 then but it was awful. Good luck and can’t wait to hear about it and where you went….what went well and what didn’t

    Reply

    • Laura:

      Ugh, so disappointing! I think traveling with kids is like a box of chocolates: You don’t know what you’re going to get until you’ve already committed to something that looks enjoyable.

      Reply

  3. Jeannette:

    Enjoy you vacation. No need to worry about the kids behave or what the passengers think because you are one great mom that deserves to let her hair down and enjoy the memories your family creates along the way. Heck, be a kid and stick your tongue out to anyone that seems to be disturbed by all the goodness that comes along with kids.

    Reply

    • Laura:

      So nice, thank you! 🙂

      Reply

  4. Natasha:

    Your very real posts give me encouragement & laughter. I can’t even begin to describe our situation at the moment, but your frankness and truthisms are a breath of fresh air.

    Reply

    • Laura:

      Haha! Thanks! And I wish you well in your own situation. It’s never easy.

      Reply

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