Making Memories, Staycation-Style

Today, or maybe yesterday, for sure tomorrow is the last day of our Spring Break. We don’t have a long trip home; because, as usual our destination location was our home.

I might have had a bad attitude about it. (eek!)

We don’t have pics from the mountains. We didn’t bask in the sound of waves crashing the shore. We didn’t hop a plane for places undiscovered by our crew. But we did what we do – spend time together. Not all of it’s pretty, but it is time. And despite what some might think about me after my article yesterday in the NYT, which really was supposed to be about calling people by their names/knowing people’s names, I can’t think of anything I’d rather do than be with my kids as Mom. Even in the car. These days, especially in the car – now that they’re getting driver’s licenses and can leave without me.

I think I’m going to be a humongous mess when the door begins to open and usher them to adulthood. I know the years are slipping by. So when things like Spring Break come our way, and I see everyone (thanks to the wonders of Facebook/Instagram/Twitter and the likes) “making memories,” I worry. Our oldest is a Junior. And once he leaves, the domino affect begins. What memories does he, or any of them, have to show for it?

Here’s what our Spring Break looked like:

IMG_4293We started with a bang … and some sugar (yummmm … love to use the kids as an excuse to dine on delectables from Bok’s Donut Palace)

IMG_4291

… and continued excitement with a puzzle – which we built 3 three times. I kept offering to get out another, but apparently building the same puzzle multiple times is fun. Staycation wasn’t looking too good at this point.

Or at this point:

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The excitement continued with watching reruns of The Middle and even more thrilling shows like Man vs Food and My Cat From Hell. What in the world? Apparently, there are shows about everything. Trouble with your cat? There’s a guy for that. He brings peace and cat-love for all. [Note: we don't even have a cat]

Until…

IMG_4310the backhoe digging our alley neighbor’s pool accidentally cut our cable/internet line. Despite the moans and groans, we survived. Thankfully, some AT&T guys raced in to save the day. All was not lost. (Phew!)

IMG_4355Boxes arrived – and loads of fun began. The younger boys spent hours in and out of those things that also made fun targets for bows & arrows.

We didn’t spend all our time at home. We ate out a few (several) times. I didn’t miss a view of the ocean or the beach. My view was in old favs, where people know our names and

IMG_4308where chairs are shared.

This a memory I never want to forget. How much longer will they be able to share the same chair. And, I’m so thankful they want to.

IMG_4323We had more donuts. These a bit more healthy. It started a little dicey, but has already been built and re-built (still don’t understand that).

And we had practical. I’m not sure what I was thinking, but it certainly wasn’t vacation. I piled it all in. Haircuts, shoe shopping, closet cleaning,

IMG_4326the dentist

IMG_4325the orthodontist

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I even went so far as to fill the older kids’ days with aptitude testing. The words, “This is the worst Spring Break EVER!” might have been heard mumbled from one of their mouths. I felt sorry for them and kept telling them, “This is a gift. You might not appreciate it now – but you will. … At least I think you will… Okay, I hope you will.”

Making memories…

We went to the park. We went to the movies. We Groupon’d, which didn’t involve an airplane, but definitely took us to destinations unknown.

“This should be an adventure,” said a friend who went with us to King Spa & Sauna.  IMG_4334I must admit, we thought twice about this one. The Groupon promised a super fun indoor waterpark. The outside didn’t quite match the pics.

IMG_4336And neither did this ginormous horse that greeted us in the lobby.

But we went anyway,

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… and had a blast. Because you never know where memories will be made.

“Mom,” Snopes said to me yesterday, “this was actually a great Spring Break,”

Did she just say “great?” Even AFTER all the grueling hours of testing? “Really, honey?” I ask in disbelief.

“Yes. In fact it was perfect. I wasn’t so happy about the testing, but it did turn out great. And it gave me something productive to do. And I got spend time with you. Real time. And I loved going to the movie together. Just you and me. And taking care of the boys, building forts with those huge boxes, jumping on the trampoline without having to be anywhere, riding our bikes, watching you and Jack build the puzzles over and over and over. It was so much fun. I’m glad we can have fun at home. I really like that.”

So we didn’t go skiing. And we didn’t go to the beach. But apparently we did make memories. Good memories. Because, making memories can happen even at home. My hope is that home will be a sweet memory for each of them … and that they will want to come back often.

Thanks for walking the road with me.

-Kay

3 Comments

  1. Catherine Sharpe says:

    Kay, thanks for posting this! As someone who struggled with some compari-SIN the first few days of Spring Break ’14 as I virtually “watched” friends on Facebook set off on their adventures, I so appreciate your perspective of making memories at our home. I so hope our kids will want to come back and play some card games and some dominoes with us once they grow up and set off on their own adventures! Thanks for a great perspective, Kay!

  2. Hi Kay,
    Stopping by prior to our spring break (just before Easter) where we will also have a staycation. In fact, we have decided to simplify right away–cancel cable, clean out the garage, sell the house even (downsizing even though that means five girls in one room, three boys in the other). It is time. Thanks for walking the road with all of us! Margie

  3. Hi Kay, I loved this post. I often find myself wondering if the fact that we don’t travel much will have a negative impact on our children. With five kids ages 1-8 and a brand new online parenting school that I am running,it is just too difficult. I certainly want to take them to different destinations. Maybe when they grow a little? I sure hope I will find the guts and energy to begin the journey into travel with kiddies. In the meantime, what you wrote sounded quite familiar and I laughed throughout this post (especially at the donuts and the horse statue). Looks like you have a wonderful family. Thank you for sharing your spring break with us.
    Sigal
    The Mom and Dad Academy

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