lest you be misguided by yesterday’s blissful notes on camp, i must add the following observation about traveling with small children:
vacations are not really vacations. they are simply the act of schlepping all of one’s stuff, one’s kids, their stuff, and all of the responsibilities related thereto, to an alternate location of one’s choice. kids still hit each other, wake up in the middle of the night, refuse to eat growing foods, and stack chairs in the kitchen in pursuit of chocolate. it’s just that on vacation, parents have the pleasure of looking at the mountains or the beach while they are dealing with the aforementioned issues.
however, july in montreat offers a bit of a vacation from the vacation in the form of “clubs,” a kids’ day camp that meets on weekdays from 8:30 to noon and 2:00 – 4:00 in the afternoon. this is the first year that both of my children have attended both morning and afternoon clubs, which officially makes july of 2011 the most time i’ve had away from my children since they were born. i was musing to my friend, anne, about how this absence was affecting me, and she (the mother of two grown children and three grandchildren) summed it up well.
it’s all about energy. the more energy we have, the better parents we are. when we don’t have energy, we are simply muddling through.
having my children in other people’s care gave me more energy for the times that i was with them. for example, on the saturday when the bird tee-teed all over the dining table and the monkey promptly covered the rest of the table in glue, i reacted with an uncharacteristic sense of calm likened to that of the dalai lama.
when the bird spent thirteen solid days clamoring for his daddy, who was in memphis, i was able to laugh and not get my feelings hurt as i usually do.
the kids did eventually wear me down though. by the end of the trip, even with the added childcare, i was muddling through. the grand finale, marked by two sleepless nights hovered over a croup-plagued bird, returned me to my familiar listless state.
if only there were a couple of extra hours in the day for sleeping or a couple of extra parents in the household for trouble shooting! in the absence of these wish list items, i can offer you only this: my recipe for muddling through in style (adapted from design sponge):
summer elderflower cocktail
- st. germain licour
- club soda
- muddle mint and juice from half of lime in the bottom of a low-ball glass.
- add ice and throw in the squeezed lime.
- add the desired amount of alcohol (about half st. germain and half gin).
- top with soda and stir.
you might want to purchase one of these.
every muddler needs a muddler.