This is the year.
It’s finally time to go on a family vacation.
I know that other families with young children go on vacations all the time, whether it’s a road trip to Disney or a plane trip to a Sandals resort. That wasn’t the right choice for us, though — that wasn’t how we thought of vacations. We were used to exploring, letting fate guide our experiences — things like finding our way back to our hotel in Tokyo via the subway system, or walking 45 minutes (one way) from Waikiki to an anime/toy store on Waialae (granted, that was a poor idea), or going snorkeling or parasailing for the first time.
Even knowing that traveling with a school-ager will be much different than as a couple, we had a few milestones we wanted our son to pass before we attempted a family vacation. The big one was night-time potty-training, and Connor passed that milestone more than a year ago. We were also waiting for him to drop the afternoon nap — well, Quiet Time, anyway, as he hadn’t actually napped for some time. All-day Kindergarten put the final kibosh on Quiet Time — plus, he didn’t really need it anymore, as missing Quiet Time no longer meant an evening meltdown.
I also wanted to take him on an overnight or two in a hotel, just to get the hang of how he’d deal with it. When we shared a hotel room with my Mom during our first overnight trip to Dayton two years ago, when he was almost five years old, we adults were forced to have an early lights-out to get Connor to go to sleep. Back then, he still really needed some afternoon downtime (which he didn’t get), so once 8:00pm rolled around, things were getting hairy.
Last year’s Dayton trip went much more smoothly: Connor and I shared a room, and we stayed up watching BattleBots on cable before bed. We awoke the next morning feeling well-rested and ready to go.
So, he’s ready. Presumably, his Dad and I are ready, too.
I, for one, am looking forward to some tropical relaxation in a matter of weeks.
Which brings me to my second vacation-related topic: swimwear.
Talking swimwear means talking about body image. So, let’s put things into perspective.
The last tropical vacation I took was when I was five months pregnant, so my only worry was that I wasn’t big enough, and I’d look fat instead of pregnant. That means that my last non-preggo tropical vacation was Mexico 2010. Aaron and I had both lost a bunch of weight on Weight Watchers, so I was feeling pretty good about myself. In fact, along with my tankinis, I even brought a bikini top — I only wore it for one day, though, and there are no pictures to prove it. We happened to be on an excursion where I brought a waterproof camera, but the battery died halfway through, and the excursion company was selling their professional photos at astronomical prices. So, there are photos I took of Aaron, but none of me. Not that day.
I did some looking back into my records, and it turns out that, even though I’m ten pounds up from my lowest weight right now, I’m also ten pounds below where I was eight years ago. (How’s that for slow and maintainable weight loss — an average of just over a pound a year!)
Even though I’m not feeling as comfortable in my skin as I once was, I’ve decided to embrace my “beach body” and wear a bikini on vacation. Here’s why:
- It’s comfortable, especially for long-torsoed ladies like me. A tankini will usually show a little flesh, anyway, so I’m always tugging it down — and don’t get me started on finding decent one-piece swimsuits for tall people.
- I feel sexy in it. Not inappropriately so, but just enough.
- I’m never going to see any of my fellow vacationers again, and they have no right to judge me in the first place, so there’s no reason to be embarrassed or self-conscious of how I look (or how I perceive that I look). Along those lines: Everyone else is on vacation, too, and they’re hopefully focusing on their own good time. NO ONE CARES. No one but me.
- I wore my bikini to swim in the pool in Dayton this past summer, and I survived the initial awkward feeling of showing so much skin. In fact, my Mom kept commenting on how good I looked in it. (I had to buy smaller bikini bottoms after attempting to swim with my old ones, though… kinda awkward to have to keep tugging on your panties while you’re swimming.)
Long story short, I’m going to wear what I’m comfortable in, physically and mentally. That’s it. End of story.
We’re going to have fun as a family on our first family vacation. No worries.