Eldest wants to go to Tanzania to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro. Middlest wants to go on an African safari. Youngest wants to go to Disney.
Me? Any and all of the above, with just one child at a time.
If time is a parent’s most precious resource, quality time alone with each child is even more hard to come by. In the vacations of my dreams, I get to take one child on his own on a life-changing adventure. And since I’d be more than happy to do all of the above, I’ll let the kids decide.
I am a traveller who is pretty well wed to her itinerary. I like to plan carefully, cover as much ground as humanly possible, and leave with no regrets of opportunities missed or sights unseen. One of my favourite passages from Jennifer Coburn’s We’ll Always Have Paris comes after she and her daughter have decided on a whim to do things out of order, swapping the days for museum visits. After going through the Museum of Modern Art in Rome, she says to her daughter,
“There isn’t a piece in here that I am not one hundred percent in love with….”
“Aren’t you glad we changed the days?” Katie asked.
“We didn’t change the days; we let the days change us.”
Days that change us is what I’m after. I’m willing to step outside of my safety zone to do that.
I’d also love to step out of my usual roles. I am the voice of Chores and Homework and The Almighty Clock. I am the Referee. I’d really like not to be The Referee. Yes, a dream vacation would free me up from the roles that pin me down.
Aside from the benefit of not having to be on sibling rivalry duty, time alone with each boy would make the vacation our own special thing. I love having our own special thing. My boys all know that I love them, but there’s no substitute for a private joke, a special treat or an amazing memory for cementing that love.
Oh, I’m loving this dreaming so much I just want to go off and plan it! Not Kilimanjaro, maybe, but local hike. Not a safari, but a trip to the zoo. Not Disney, but Canada’s Wonderland is on our doorstep. Some in-our-own-back-yard special things.