My family will be taking a vacation soon and there’s not a doubt in my mind I will be the first one asleep on Night One. We haven’t even left yet and I am exhausted. Why?
Because I’m the Mom, that’s why.
And every Mom knows: when the vacation countdown begins, if we ceased doing what we do … ain’t nobody goin’ nowhere.
We push up our sleeves with a determined “I Can DO this” mantra but the truth is, the procedural that takes place the full week before departure is outrageous. It makes me wonder why anyone ever chooses to leave their home in the first place.
The laundry? Kill me.
The packing? (Did I already say kill me?) I laughably thought it would get easier as my kids got older but now — in addition to needing bigger baggage (for bigger clothing) — I find myself in Supreme Nag Mode. Apparently I am the only household member over the age of 14 that finds it necessary to actually haul a suitcase up from the cellar before 2:00am the night before pulling out of the driveway.
The checklist of Wal-Mart runs, haircuts, dog-walker-flower-waterer-house-watcher instructions — along with the panic-inducing Don’t-Forget-to-Pack-or-the-Vacation-is-Ruined items — has me realizing I never even did the end-of-the-year backpack clean-out on the last day of school. (Quick silent prayer: Please God, let those nasty knapsacks be free of yogurt this year…) May I be totally excused? I’m going with yes, totally.
Worse than that: It was my intention to exercise my way into a respectable bathing suit by now but by the time all of the above was completed (pfffft. was there ever a doubt?) there was no time left. Now I’ve got to rely on the sunburnt-skin-turning-brown trick-of-the-eye to help me get to that goal.
So yes, I’ll be a little tired and a little (cough) thicker than I’d like to be but I’m thinking as soon as that first icy cold margarita gets sipped, my revved up week of “Maaaaaaa, where’s my …?” will be but a blur.
We’re taking a cruise with one of my bestest friends in the whole world: my college roommate and her family. When she’s not making me look like a wallflower she will be enthralling my kids with one hilarious story after another. Each day I suspect our husbands’ lounge chairs will be purposely perched farther away from us but believe me, we are sooooo used to that.
That we’ve brazenly decided to throw caution to the wind and stick with our plans to go on Carnival – you know, the “Fun Ships” (“fun” of course questionably translating into fiery engines and passengers hurling overboard) — only shows how committed we are to having stupendous stories to share at the end of our trip. Good God — can you even IMAGINE the blogs to follow should we spy poop floating on the Lido Deck due to scary sewage fiascos?
I’m fairly certain I would finally break into the International Blogosphere if something ridiculously newsworthy befalls our ship so, by all means, keep your fingers crossed and your eyes on the CNN ticker.
My family doesn’t do trips like this often but truthfully, lately my husband and I have been invoking a Live for Today attitude. A couple of sudden deaths in the family and a handful of kids unbelievably graduating in the blink of an eye will do that.
Time is whizzing by faster with each passing year and life certainly isn’t getting less complicated as we muddle through it so … this year at least … we’re acting a tad frivolous and going for broke.
I mean that literally. But I’m also banking on this bad boy boat clipping an iceberg or something and getting a lifetime of free cruising from our friends at Carnival so really, it’ll be fine.
Tina Drakakis blogs at Eyerollingmom and was featured in the 2014 Boston production of “Listen to Your Mother: Giving Motherhood a Microphone.” Her work has been featured in NPR’s “This I Believe” radio series yet she places “Most Popular 1984” on top of her list of achievements. (Next would be the home improvement reality TV show of 2003 but her kids won’t let her talk about that anymore). A witty mother of four, she takes on cyberspace as @Eyerollingmom on Twitter and Eyerollingmom on Facebook. and @Eyerollingmom on Instagram.
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