We went on vacation - as in my whole family. My parents, brother, sister-in-law, nieces and the four of us. We went to Disney World for 4 days, then on the Disney Dream cruise for another four. We had an awesome time (although there were awful moments, I'll admit. Traveling with 4 kids, five and under was a bit overwhelming from time-to-time.) The trip was planned and executed around the wedding of one of my oldest friends. She married her long-time love on the beach, and it was gorgeous. Even in the tropical drizzle that fell as she rode up in a festive golf cart.
Traveling with that many relatives is perilous to say the least, and I'm pretty impressed that we all came out the other side still speaking. We all had our moments - even Claire, and my niece, Izzy, normally the best of best friends, had a spat as the plane was descending into New York.
I wasn't quite prepared for how being out of our routine would affect me. I knew the kids would be out of sorts, and they were. But it was compounded by my own off-kilter feeling, that bled into every moment. The rush to get as many memories made in the time we had, the cooped up feeling of only having one room to share four ways. The tiptoeing around after they fell asleep to get sorted for the night. The guilt from slipping out on several of those nights to spend time with my old friends and family. And then there was the feeling of parenting on display. Every move we made was made in front of someone else, for good or bad. I sort of feel like a lot of judging went on there. Maybe I'm reading it wrong.
There was good too - watching my kids experience wonder like that. Seeing Ben's face light up whenever he saw a character that he could touch. Seeing all the princesses. Watching my dad watching us. Riding a huge water slide with Claire. Twice. Taking them to their first movie-theater movie. Seeing Karen's face as she saw John at the end of the aisle.
So many good, good moments. And those were so good the bad moments will fade away. Who cares that I yelled a lot? In a month, we're going to remember the fireworks.