Saturday, May 23, 2009

On Vacation 1

Packing up for vacation can be a dangerous experience. In our home, packing begins a few days before the actual trip when the suitcases are pulled up from storage and Amy begins to layout the children’s clothes.

I must admit, my packing is much easier than hers. The older children pack themselves and Amy checks what they have chosen giving instruction along the way. Ellie, of course is given the task to pack a “toy backpack”. This year I found Ellie on her floor crying as she had three “toy backpacks” around her unable to stuff her blankie in any of them for lack of space. She still so sweetly mispronounces the word “bag” as “bay-ug”.

Amy works from a master list that she created years ago that has everything neatly listed that she and the family will need. I work “buffet” style, walking around the room, thinking about what I want to pack returning several times to the same drawers and closet. My one “strangety” is putting everything in my toiletry bag the night before instead of waiting till morning. This includes things I will use the next morning. I guess I am afraid I will leave something behind, so there is a higher chance of taking it if it is already in the bag.

There is a longstanding "frictionous" point the morning that we leave. It seems to me that it takes hours to actually pull out of the driveway. I feel like Amy decides to spring clean the morning we leave for vacation. Of course, the truth is that she is being thorough so the family will not forget anything. I just think of all those cars that are getting ahead of me on the highway. One very disciplined habit that Amy has is leaving the house clean so we return to a neat home from vacation…..OH THIS KILLS ME !!! She obviously is the more mature of our relationship.

I help her and she actually writes down jobs for each of the kids to do on that morning. I do big stuff and actually pack the car……but my packing philosophy provides for the biggest suitcases to go first, which of course are the last things Amy finishes before we leave. Ugggh.

I normally am at the point of losing it when I physically pick up each of the kids and buckle them into the car….I don’t care how large my children are getting, road rage gives a man supernatural strength. So there we are, car (now truck) running waiting on Amy to actually lock the door and buckle in. I remember one year getting so tense waiting for her to get in the van that I barked at her asking what took her so long… she honestly replied that I had forgot some personal items and I felt about an inch tall.

So we all get buckled in. We have a ritual of Amy putting the second car into the driveway and then we all pray together for safety. Driving out of the development is rough because Amy is scanning her memory to think of items she has forgotten. I am trying to make it to the highway to make up lost time. As we add children I think we would do very hard to make it out of the driveway by 9am. (And this getting up at 6-6:30am!) Although I am bearing honesty in these lines, I can’t tell you how much I appreciate Amy that is the brains of organizing everything from the children’s clothing to the food we take.

This year, packing was a delight with our new (to us) Suburban. We struggled over this decision, but now it is a no-brainer to us. Somewhere between 3-5 children a Suburban makes a lot of sense. There is tons of room for packing, tons of room for growing children to move around, and let’s face it – tons of fun to drive this “beast”. I like to “kid” about all the hybrids I run over.

Well, that is packing…stay tuned for Vacation 2 – “the 180 miles and 4 ½ hours to Chincoteague Island”

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