Is it just traveling in general or is it traveling with kids specifically that makes you start acting like a bag lady? You start hoarding things like plastic bags and paper cups, handfuls of straws. They are treasures that you might need—something to wrap a diaper in or build sand castles with at the beach or something to give your child when he refuses to drink milk straight from the glass like the rest of the world. You start a treasure trove of these items in your hotel room. Then you pack to go and suddenly you see your treasures for what they are: garbage. So with one swoop, you throw your week’s savings away and go home to your land of mystical Diaper Genies, plastic sand toys, and sippy cups.
I remember before going to San Diego, how I was so tired of my busy routine of packing lunches, packing snacks, packing dinner to eat on the go, buckling the kids into the car, unbuckling them, loading and unloading the car with kids and toys and food and stuff, stuff, STUFF.
But after a week of eating out and living in a hotel room it felt so good to pack my kids a healthy school lunch. A lunch that was not deep-fried. A lunch proportionally sized for a toddler. A lunch where the biggest thing is a sandwich rather than a torso-sized bowl of Jell-o.
I hummed happily my first morning back, packing lunches, scheduling play dates and appointments, zipping up backpacks. I hummed when the kids went to school, putting things away in the places they go because at home everything has a place. I hummed as I put our clothes into the washing machine and thought about how we don’t have to ration our clean underwear anymore.
Of course, that night after a day of packing lunches/snacks three different times, loading and unloading the car just as many times, helping with homework, entertaining two kids on a freezing soccer field while they waited for the third kid to finish practice, eating dinner an hour past bedtime, and being yelled at for things like offering my two-year-old a hug, I wasn’t humming anymore. I stubbed my toe on the way to kiss the boys goodnight and Kevin found me sobbing outside their room, saying, “It’s too hard! There’s just too much to do!”
I didn’t want to be anywhere else because I had just done that, and it was hard. I didn’t want to be home either because I had also just done that, and it was hard too.
And then Rocco came out to see if I was okay and ask me if I wanted to go “extrasize” since he knows that makes me feel better, and Vincenzo came out because he was worried I was having a heart attack.
So I kissed the boys goodnight and we all laughed about how I stubbed my toe and thought the world was ending and I closed the door to their room and I climbed back on the horse and continued on this wild, bumpy, non-stop, unpredictable, loud, breath-taking ride called Every Day Life with Kids. ‘’
And you know? I’ve been happy. Dog-tired and happy.