“This season of life won’t last forever,” I tell myself, as I mindlessly scroll through hoards of family vacation photos on social media.
Families at the beach, families making the rounds to Disney World and Universal Studios, families cruising to various islands; Facebook is suddenly Travelbook and vacation envy is in full force.
The first and last time my daughter saw the ocean, she had just turned 18-months-old. At the end of this month, she’ll be picking out a backpack and getting ready for her first day of kindergarten. She doesn’t realize what she’s missing, yet it’s still hard to convince myself that I’m not depriving my children of the epic vacations that summers are made of (thanks Dairy Queen). Undoubtedly, they’ll be in therapy when they’re adults, talking about how if only they’d gone to the beach more often in their youth.
Never mind cross-country trips being financially out of reach with two kids in daycare; there’s the additional stress of saving all of our vacation/PTO time for our kids’ sick days. I count the months left in the year on my fingers. The bouts of my son’s croup and ear infections have dwindled my days down to five. If I’m lucky, I’ll glide into December breaking even. The neighborhood pool and local splash pads will have to be enough this year.
“This season of life won’t last forever,” I tell myself, as I watch my daughter jump off the diving board all by herself at the pool.
She radiates happiness. She doesn’t know what’s she missing. In fact, she’s constantly declaring it “the best day ever.” Our 18-month-old son screeches with wild abandonment as he catapults from the side of the pool into my arms, never the wiser that there’s more to summer than this.