A while back, I was struck by one particular entry on Girl’s Gone Child, where Rebecca (I don’t know her personally, so I can’t really call her “Bec” or “Becca”) recounts the family’s trip to Vegas to renew their vows on their 10th wedding anniversary. A family of six all piled into the car and drove to Vegas for the weekend to revisit the place where it all started, where Hal and Rebecca got married a few months before their son was born, where they eloped and said Let’s Just Do This Crazy Thing.
I know that she writes about both sides of the equation, the good and the bad, the joy and the frustration… but, when I read it, it rings in my head of sunshine and rainbows.
And I wonder what’s wrong with me.
I’m not one to complain, generally speaking. I’ll post the occasional passive-aggressive or whiny bit to Twitter, but for the most part, I just keep on keepin’ on.
Even so, I look at GGC’s posts about driving up the coast with four kids, or taking the family to the botanical gardens, or even taking her oldest two to the fair — and I think, shit. I can’t even justify skipping Connor’s naptime on a Saturday in June to go hit up an afternoon of garage sales like we used to before Connor was on the scene. I’m too damn lazy to pack up Connor in the morning (while night-shift Daddy is still sleeping) and go do something fun in the winter. I’m lucky to have enough wherewithal to take Connor on a morning stroller ride to the park when it’s nice out.
Overnight trip? Please.
Not unless we go somewhere that has stuff for Aaron to do solo between 10pm and 3am, because he’ll be awake and Connor and I will be asleep. Then Connor and I will be up at 7 or 8am, rocking it solo-parenting-style until Daddy gets up around noon.
That’s just how we roll. It’s how we’ve always rolled (unless we were on vacation in a different country, in which case both Aaron and I would be totally reset onto the local schedule).
That’s really what kills our spontaneity as a family of three — our three different schedules. Daddy still needs to sleep when we’re awake in the morning. Connor needs to nap in the midst of prime grown-up awake time (right after lunch), and needs to go to bed shortly after dinner. If we switch that up — if Daddy gets up early, or if Connor misses his nap — people become grumpy and things get un-fun really fast, and then why did we bother?
As far as daytrips go… We have done the occasional thing where we know Connor will miss his nap, like driving 2+ hours to Grammy’s house for Thanksgiving and back in one day. We survived, even after Connor puking in the car en route and shitting his brains out while we were there and him being overtired all evening. He slept a little in the car on the way back, and he had a really late bedtime (and refused to skip his bath), but we survived. And we actually had a pretty good time overall.
It’s hard, though, to embark on a trip knowing that Connor is likely to be a major fussbudget by the end of it all. That’s why we’ve only intentionally let Connor skip his nap fewer times than I can count on one hand.
If being stuck in Groundhog Day (and the occasional homeownership maintenance issue, like falling gutters) is the worst that Life can throw at us, though, I can deal with that for now. It’s not all sunshine and rainbows, love and light, but it’s OK.
Like I keep saying, I’m not wishing away the days and years — I’m just trying to remain content in the knowledge that things will not always be like this. Someday, our son will not need a midday nap. Someday, our family will be compatible with garage sales and long walks and trips to Ann Arbor and long vacations again.
But not today.