A change of scenery. For example: OUR CAR
Now the big kids are sick. The big kids were JUST sick! Now EJ is going to catch their cooties all over again. BOO! I have already called preschool to let them know Jack and his river of snot will not be attending tomorrow. I have to give up a preschool morning AND I have to figure out how to entertain a moody four-year-old with a full-fledged Man Cold.
Perhaps this is why I have vacation on the brain.
Not that we are GOING ANYWHERE. Oh no. Ever since the Cheung Family Vacation imploded in all directions (no one wants to hear that story, trust me) and ever since I did some forensic accounting on the budget situation and instituted austerity measures, vacation is not an option.
And not that we have TIME to go anywhere. I just updated my calendar today and HOLY GEE. Have I mentioned one sister is having a baby and one sister is getting married? Just the My-Side-Of-The-Family Events have blocked out my weekends until the end of July. And then there's the My-Side-Of-The-Family beach weekend (HEE! "BEACH WEEKEND"!) happening on the weekend directly following the wedding that I thought FOR SURE would get postponed or canceled but NO, it is ON. And! My sister and her future husband will be there! Either they are KA-RAZY or Future BIL really likes my family. We'll go with Option B. It's flattering.
So I've told you I have a brother and sister-in-law and three painfully adorable, impeccably dressed nephews in Colorado, right? They show up every once in a while just to make my kids look like urchins. At first my brother and SIL didn't have enough vacation time for both weekends, but because they really wanted the boys to go to The Big Red House (which is what the grandkids call the "beach" weekend), somehow my mom and dad decided they would keep the two older boys after the wedding, take them to The Big Red House, and DRIVE THEM BACK TO COLORADO. I KNOW, RIGHT?
(Side note: my parents drive to Colorado about twice a year. For people who spent at least half their lives living overseas and flying home to the US every summer, they are incredibly airplane- and airport-averse.)
My mom tells me all of this over the phone and my only thought is that my SIL totally lucked out in the in-law department. Then I get an email from my mom saying, essentially, "We've decided you should come with us!"
OH HA HA HA
Giant road trip? With my PARENTS? And my NEPHEWS? AND ALL OF MY KIDS? It's true that we have the big van, Phillip MIGHT be able to get time off, we keep meaning to figure out how to visit my brother and SIL, and I can think of at least five other people I'd want to visit in the Greater Colorado-Ish Area, but there's no way this is a good idea, right?
Oh, and now? My brother and SIL CAN stay for both the wedding and the beach weekend and my parents are STILL going to drive the older boys home. KA-RAZY!
Would I let my kids go on a multi-day road trip without me? With their beloved grandparents? UHHHH... I mean, my first instinct is to say HELL YES but I would also have to work very hard at wrapping my brain around the idea. I get nervous when my parents drive them from my house to theirs! LET ALONE SEVERAL STATES AWAY.
But that's not the issue. The issue is: do WE want to do this WITH them? I'm not sure. And everything's totally moot if Phillip can't get the time off. (He has this nagging little project at work that keeps getting pushed back, so all his business trips keep getting pushed back, and if his project goes live in July I'll just die of exhaustion right now.) But if he COULD... I could definitely see the potential for awesome. For one thing, my parents are, like, the most into-doing-stuff-with-kids people you've ever met. My mom is keeping a JOURNAL while they drive (they are driving there! Right now!) of things they might want to do with the boys on the summer drive. They have an excellent (if you are four) or maddening (if you are 32) driving system, wherein they stop for coffees and treats about every two hours. My mom LOVES getting up early with energetic preschoolers! My dad LOVES stomping around Historical Sites and pointing out dinosaur fossils and giving impromptu geology lessons! IT SOUNDS HALFWAY FUN!
But then I think about $4 gas and getting three kids to sleep in one hotel room. I think about packing and all the snacks and diapers and GEAR. And where to stay when we GET there. (Surely SIL does not want in-laws, plus us, plus three more kids in her house, even if there was room, which I do not think there IS.)
But vacation? Even this sort of work-intensive vacation? Sounds awfully nice right now. A change of scenery. Perhaps some sunshine. Seeing family (even if we'll have just seen them the previous weekend!) Something DIFFERENT. I don't know. Sounds kinda nice.