Today’s leisure post is the last set of pictures from our family’s recent trip to Grand Cayman that I plan to use on the blog and looking at these shots, in particular, brings up some interesting thoughts and emotions for me. When I think of this day at the splashpad I’m reminded of how much fun we all had on the trip and I get this overwhelming sense of happiness from looking at the huge smiles on their faces and still being able to hear their giggles in my head. But there is another lingering emotion – not really one of sadness, but it’s definitely an unpleasant feeling that results from the realization that days like this are so different that what real life is like and speaking personally, real life for me as a mom. I feel as though I spend 95% of my time with the kids telling them to do something or to not do something. I wouldn’t go so far as to say I was a different person while on vacation, but I was a different mom. The smiles on those kids faces and the giggles I still hear in my head are indecipherable from what I see and hear any time they have carefree play. The difference, in large part, is how much I allow myself to enjoy it. And these kiddos are smart, perceptive cookies – they get it. Looking at these pictures has been a powerful reminder to remember to take vacations from everyday stress, parenting overload, and maximum multi-tasking. Vacations don’t need to involve substantial time and expense. You know where else has splashpads? Minnesota. I can name three in a five-mile radius of our house. You know how often have we gone to one on a hot summer day or evening? Not a once. That needs to change. We need to – I need to – start spending more time enjoying things as simple and easy as a glorified sprinkler.
Reality Check. I have friends, colleagues and acquaintances that are dealing with some serious and heart-rending things right now in their lives and I get that writing about wanting my life to be more like a day at the splashpad is, on the spectrum of real life, ridiculous. I try hard to keep everything in perspective. This musing is about taking that perspective and applying it in a more productive and positive manner when looking at how I function in my daily activities, especially with the kiddos. Not every day can or should be like a vacation, but nor must every moment be task oriented and stressful.