There is nothing easy about taking a family of six on vacation. Especially when the leader and chief executive packer still hasn't finished unpacking from being out of town herself. The to-do list is daunting, but in the end the reward will be so worth it.
I know because we have done it every year for the last eight years.
Growing up we never went on vacation. We took day trips here and there to locations all over the state, but we never stayed overnight. The logistics with two working parents and three kids just never worked out. I always felt a bit like I was missing out when we would go back to school and hear of everyone's grand vacations.
Taking family vacations was very important to me when I became a parent myself.
When we had only one, we took several vacations. He was (is) a great traveler. He loved the car and could sleep anywhere. As our family has grown our vacations have shrunk but we still take one every summer. It's not an elaborate vacation, but to my kids it's the best part of summer.
I was lucky enough to marry a man whose family has property in Lake Nokomis in Wisconsin: One house and two small cabins built by my husband's great uncle after the war. The family has been summering there since my husband's father was a kid. My kids run on the same beach, swim on the same lake and sleep in the same room their father did so many years ago.
That sense of history, or connectedness, is what gets me through the chaos of packing and sorting and trying to squish everything that I need to do to get all six of us out the door for an extended time. It's not fancy or easy, but hearing my kids excitedly talk about what they're going to do and remember what they did in years past makes me remember that it's all worth it.
It also helps knowing there is a hammock over the lake with my name on it.
Melissa is mom to 4 kids and 2 angels. She chronicles the sticky bits of motherhood at Peanut Butter in my Hair.
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