Now that we are in January, I am looking ahead to Spring Break. Yes, I am a planner:) Both of my kids are in college, and their spring breaks are at the same time. When does that happen??!!! Even more incredible is the fact that both kids want to spend their time off as a family and I am thrilled. I know my days of family Spring Breaks are numbered so I will take full advantage of everyone’s participation. (Let’s not kids ourselves, we pay for the trip too:)
Dr. Suess once said, “Sometimes you will never know the value of something, until it becomes a memory.” This quote gets me thinking about what memories my kids have of all the trips we have taken.
When the kids were young, we took ski trips, beach trips, and cultural trips to many places including Washington DC, Europe and Yellowstone National Park. As the teen years came, we went to the Bahamas, theme parks, snow boarding, the west coast, and sometimes we just had staycations. With each of our trips, I was the grand organizer. First, I researched and planned. Second, I organized, shopped, and packed. Finally, I schlepped, fed, navigated, and mediated. I did all this so my family could have a great vacation with lasting memories. The question remains, what do my kids take away from all our trips?
I put that question to the test recently and asked my kids what they remember most of the trips that we have taken. The first responses were, “food and spending time with family.” Clearly, I had to dig deeper.
What I realized is that you can’t plan for memories. They just happen. Good or bad. My daughter recalls the time she had bad altitude sickness in Colorado and missed the entire vacation. She stayed in the room, on oxygen, and binged-watched Criminal Minds. She remembers this vividly because when we found out what she had watched, we made her stop. She had to wait 2 years to watch it again. This is what she remembers. She also remembers putting fish in the swimming pool in the Keys, having the best café con leche in Costa Rica, and staying in room 666 in London.
Landon remembers the lazy river at the Atlantis in the Bahamas, taking a Segway tour in the freezing torrential downpour in California, snorkeling in the keys, sleeping on two couches put together in a condo we stayed in, and the bad service at the Mile Marker 88 restaurant in the Keys.
While you make plans and organize everything for a family trip, realize that what your kids remember might be moments that you haven’t planned for. Take a breath and enjoy all the moments because the valuable moments are just those that we spend with loved ones.