I learned something new after my first real family vacation last week.
The first thing I learned is something any of you who’ve undertaken one already know.
A family vacation is little more than taking care of your family in a cooler location.
The duties of taking care of children don’t disappear when you take them to the beach.
They need to be fed, played with, cleaned up after and all the other assorted tasks that go round and round and round.
All the leisurely reading I’d planned for?
Those books and magazines just sat in the suitcase where I’d packed them.
We read Bizarro Superman instead.
The nightly sunsets I wanted to watch?
Duh. Sunset is at dinner time.
Don’t get me wrong.
We had a lot of fun, Asher and I.
We played in the ocean together.
And in the pool we set up in front of the ocean.
Yep, that’s right.
I actually came up with a plan.
Ahead of time.
That would make it a little easier on the grown-ups whilst on vacation.
And that turned to be pivotal, seeing as how the post-hurricane weather was not very good and the ocean was anything but its usual state of clear blue-green and calm.
In fact, it was red flags the whole time we were there.
One day, I went outside to find that Gabe had put Asher into his life jacket and then literally tethered the kid to him with a rope before they waded in.
Which is such a redneck, Gulf Coast thing to do, we just had to laugh.
Because that’s where we’re from.
And where we were.
So while I had a really good time and did squeeze in time with dear friends, still I learned the difference between a family vacation and a bona fide vacation.
But I also learned something significant about what my life will be like for the next 20 years or so, living in a house full of testosterone.
On the way home, I was driving (and driving and driving), and I kept smelling various kinds of pungent, repulsive odors in the car.
At first, I tried not to say anything because everyone was tired and kinda cranky.
But eventually, after inhaling the repugnant smell of stinky feet, stinky dog and stinky gas emitted from the backwards end of almost every other person besides me, I had to say something.
And that something turned out to be, “There is a myriad of stink in this car.”
To which my husband just laughed and said something like, “Get used to it.”
And I guess I will.
But I don’t have to like it.