We love to take our kids on little adventures. When Isaiah and Isaac decided to give up their traditional birthday party for a camping trip to Michigan Adventure, we were excited. Our family birthday parties are traditionally large and thanks to my own mother’s tradition of throwing over the top parties, I usually pull a muscle trying to do the same thing. We decided to have cake and ice cream with a few of Isaiah’s friends before the trip and a few of Isaac’s friend’s after. Their birthday’s are exactly two weeks a part which left a nice gap for our trip.
I love vacations but as the primary food acquisition specialist, packer and travel agent the pre-vacation period leaves me overwhelmed. I stand in my dining room checking that we have exactly the amount of undies, socks and diapers to make it through our trip while not overloading our car with too much stuff. There are usually requests thrown out while I try to coordinate for game boys, scooters or fruit snacks. Before we leave there are shouts of, “I’ve got the camera!”, “Oh my gosh, I almost forgot the tooth brushes!” and “Did you pack my socks?”
I typically handle the chaos with patience and counterfeit efficiency. This weekend I was grumpy. By the time I finally sat in the passenger seat sweating a little from helping Paul buckle the car topper all of the stuff, people and books I brought with me that I would never have a chance to read, made me want to bolt.
Okay, I see here you have all you need to survive the weekend. I now bequeath you the directions, reservation codes and tickets. Have a great time. I’ll just take those books.
Of course, I am glad I didn’t.
I would have missed Isaiah and Levi taking a ride together for the first time. Isaiah with his arm ever so gently around Levi’s shoulder rubbing his belly and talking to him as they went around and around.
I would have also missed the hidden snack contraband. We smuggled them in our diaper wipes. No one frisked us after all of our trouble.
Isaiah was killer on the bumper cars. He drove one all by himself and his little chest was puffed up with pride.
We were told to put our camera away on all rides. Ha! Suckers!
Isaiah rode some of his first roller coaster rides with Mom and Dad, individually. Someone had to be responsible and watch the younger kids. I’ve heard you can’t just lock a stroller’s wheels and walk away for a minute.
Isaac made this all possible by sleeping through the rides he most definitely would not have been happy to miss out on. The dreaded words, “I’m sorry baby, you’re not tall enough.” were heard way to often.
I took an awesome shot of this family in preparation for….
…completely failing to take a great shot of my own family experiencing the same moment.
It was an amazing trip. We had a blast and when we finally made it back to the campsite, Paul and I were confident that we had worked our kids into a state of exhaustion that would let us sit back and enjoy a beer. Isaiah and Isaac fell asleep on the ride back and so we gingerly carried our big boys and laid them in their beds. Levi was still awake but a little belly rub and we were sure he would be out cold.
Mwah ha ha ha.
The joke was on me. I laid next to that little booger for an hour. He was over stimulated to the point that he kept alternating between sleep and giddy delirium. Paul had already missed his meal driving us home and in the midst of his much anticipated meal, I knew I was on my own. Finally, I went outside and found the sandman.
I informed Paul that I was going to take the baby for a walk in the jogging stroller. He looked at me with tired eyes and asked if I wanted to take my beer with me.
I paused and responded with a slow yes.
There I was at 11pm walking my baby in a family friendly campground with a beer in the cup holder of my jogging stroller. It had been a long day and the beer was wonderful. Exercise and beer, all though not the most health conscious combination, they equal a stress TKO. After about the second lap, he fell asleep and I carefully carried him inside. All was quiet. I went to sleep to the snoring of four men and the faint calling of two books yet to be cracked.
It was a good trip and I am so glad I didn’t forget the stroller….or the beer.
*This is not a recommended excercise routine for weight loss. Please consult your doctor before comencing any weight loss program – especially one that will not make you lose any weight. You may want to ask your doctor (or google) how far you would have to walk to enjoy a beer without consequences of weight gain. Once you find out, leave a comment here. It would be good to know…you know, in case this happens again.