10 Things I Learned about My Family While on Vacation
Family vacations are a great way to reconnect, relax (most times!), and rejuvenate with your children and husband. Each summer my family takes a road trip to the mountains, ocean or lake. It’s our week to get outside and breathe the fresh air. As a working mom, I cherish this summer trip above all else because it forces me to disconnect from work and reconnect with my husband and kids. This year I found myself stepping back to simply watch my family and I was surprised at what I learned.
- My daughter (6.5 years) is brave. If you asked me a few years ago, I would’ve categorized Olivia as a conservative risk-taker. She would try new things but only after careful evaluation and encouragement. After this trip I change my opinion. On the first day we took her to an adventure park with an aerial obstacle, ropes and zipline course. Despite being the youngest in the group, she went on the course by herself and did it with enthusiasm, determination and a smile. Later in the week, she paddled out to the dock on the lake, jumped into the deep water and swam on her own back to the dock. Thank you swim lessons.
- My son (22 months) is fearless. He is the opposite of his sister when it comes to risk-taking. When given the chance, he goes for it. He climbed a log over a river, scrambled through dark and narrow rock caves, dived head first into the lake – all with gusto and a grin. My mom flag was raised many times but I had to swallow my own fears. Afterall, I would rather safely guide him in his explorations than inhibit his curiosity.
- I can still carry my son in a backpack up a mountain – in spite of my dismal exercise habits.
- Gender roles can align perfectly. I previously posted about the differences between boys and girls. I realized last week that sometimes those gender differences align perfectly. After a hike up a mountain, Owen found some sticks and was beating them against a rock (typical boy!). Soon my daughter joined him, creating a drum circle and sing along. Perfection!
- Exposing children to nature early & often pays off. As a working parent, it can be hard to provide a lot of outdoor experiences especially when there are chores and errands to be done. We have done our best to expose the kids to nature from a young age and it seems to have paid off. They love going on outdoor adventures – hikes, nature walks, swimming, animal tracking, and more.
- My hair gets really (I mean REALLY) curly when I neglect it for a week.
- My children’s age difference is just right – most days. People ask me all the time about the 5 year gap between my kids. Like Media Mom, I don’t think there is a perfect age difference between siblings. It’s harder in some instances and easier in others. As I trailed behind on a nature path and witnessed Olivia grab Owen’s hand, praise him for not running, and guide him over some rocks – I knew that at that moment the age difference was just right.
- My whole family has a sweet tooth. Chants of “cookie, cookie” (insert Cookie Monster voice here) and “ice cream” (insert loud screech here) were a daily melody.
- Mom gets edgy when she’s wet and hungry. Enough said.
- I love my family more and more each day. And it’s not because of all the things we do right but because we can get past our bad moods and behaviors, forget the rushed imperfect moments of our daily life, and enjoy each other. And if a walk or hike outside doesn’t work, there is always ice cream.
So how about you – what did you learn about your family this summer?
- Online Community: Family Vacations – Where Are You Traveling To This Summer?
- Online Community: Packing & Travel Tips for Family Vacation