Leaving on a Jet Plane

I didn’t think I could look forward to vacation as much now that I’m not working as I did when I just needed to unplug from the corporate world. But man, I’m looking forward to our trip this week.

We’re headed to New England to visit the family. In some circles, this type of family “reunion” of sorts would not be considered vacation. But my sister and I grew up in the South, far away from my parents’ parents and their siblings. So every summer we packed ourselves into the car for the 13 hour drive or pinned on our airline wings to fly alone (now that I’m a parent, I don’t know how my mother ever did this) to visit the family for a few weeks. There was a pool, a pond, cousins, the best coffee ice cream in the world, beach trips, water skiing, tubing, hide and seek, clam cakes, clam boils, dress-up plays my cousin, sister and I would put on for Grandma and Grandpa, tire swings, movie nights, endless afternoons with a good book, shopping with the aunts and the comfort of family.

These yearly trips taught me that distance between family is not defined by the miles that separate you, a lesson that has been especially helpful now that the hubby, peanut and I live more than 350 miles away from our parents and siblings; that quiet spaces can lead to quiet minds; that food, moments and time deserve equal amounts of savoring; and that crazy ain’t so bad when it’s shared through a bloodline.

And so we head off this week to introduce peanut to the family. Although, the closer the trip gets, the more I fear it won’t be much of a “vacation.” With a baby in tow, I’m packing a lot of extra baggage, both physical (how could one little guy need so much stuff?!) and mental (routine outlines in my head, worries about peanut ruining something valuable, worries about how peanut will adjust). But I know that he will love the wide open spaces, playing in the pool and getting loved on by family.

And after a few deep breaths and a glass of wine, so will I.

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