Jul 16, 2012 0 Share

Making the Most of Vacation


Beach supplies with tablet computer showing beach image.
iStockphoto

What makes a vacation a vacation? For me it's all about doing nothing. It's about soaking up as much sun as SPF 30 and my umbrella will allow. It's about being on the beach and spending the entire day absorbed in a good book. And most importantly, it's about being with family without the day-to-day stresses of work and school and appointments and getting to various places on time. I love it when my only logistical requirement for the day is arriving on time for my dinner reservation. I have very vivid memories of going on vacation as a child, and being just as excited the night before we departed as I was on Christmas Eve. I LOVE vacation in that way today, and never look forward to returning to the routine of being at home.  

I can't imagine anyone not feeling the same way as I do about vacation. Much less, that my own offspring don't feel the same way. I find it ironic that my children are saying the same things to me that my parents used to say to me: "Turn down that music," or "It's time to go back inside, we've been out here long enough." And my response to my children is the same as it was to my parents: the sigh and the rolling of the eyes as I turn down the radio, or "Just five more minutes" in response to the pleas to go inside. 

Despite the fact that the love of the beach has apparently skipped a generation in my household, I really want my children to enjoy and appreciate their time away from the routine of home. I take heart in the fact that Cameron genuinely looks forward to being with his extended family. He's always asking about who will be at the beach when we are there. He checks to make sure that my sister and her family will be there, and asks how many days they will be with us. By far, the most important aspect of any trip to the beach for Cameron is spending time with his “PePop.” My father has the good fortune of living at the beach year round, and Cameron loves to spend time with him. With PePop, Cameron can escape the demands of being Cameron. There's no requirement to reciprocate conversation. There’s no monitoring of his diet. No little sister around, whose sole intent seems to be to annoy him. So, I guess for Cameron, being at PePop's house is like being on the beach for me. No worries, no hurries, just a sense of calm and freedom. 

As we see this year's summer vacation draw to a close, I feel we are all very satisfied in that it was a vacation well spent. We've all survived the nine-hour car ride that really takes 11 hours in traffic, and are actually excited to be home again. I have spent enough time beachside, and Cameron has spent enough time with his grandfather, and everyone's batteries are fully recharged. It seems even though we have very different ideas on how to spend a perfect vacation, we've both spent a perfectly wonderful time together and gotten exactly what we needed from the break.