We're in the final hours of this family vacation; the time that is filled with vacuuming and Swiffering the tile and doing double, triple checks to make sure there is nothing left behind in any of the vacant rooms. The washer and dryer are running with the last loads of laundry and I'm equal parts relieved and apathetic about returning home. A relaxing vacation is no longer such when you're a parent, especially not when you have a toddler, and somehow that's okay. Like, who needs a hammock nap under the trees when you can wrangle a two year old off of the marble staircase? And who needs a peaceful stroll through downtown Mount Dora when you can help your teenage sister set up a fashion blog and argue about her retina-burning, seizure-inducing color choices? Priority shifts, or something. Ethan asked to go home for the first time today and in a sense it feels like it's time. It's been a couple of weeks away from routine and with him having been sick in early November, it feels like much longer. My husband has the next few days off of work and I'm looking forward to diving into all of the home projects I'm never able to tackle, like setting up our new tot school room which is still filled with laundry and clothing to donate and a bass amp that hasn't been used since 2003. It's the clutter and mess and work ahead that makes this quiet house out in the middle of nowhere seem more appealing, makes me feel like I'm being unreasonable when all of the nothingness starts to make me feel a little stir crazy.
I packed my camera and my laptop on this trip and haven't used either. I've tried to keep up with e-mails and text messages but have otherwise tried to remain unplugged and away from the world while I can. Because tonight when we leave all of this nothingness and head back into the chaos that is the South Florida suburbs during the holidays, I'm going to want to remember what staying away from the world feels like. It's bittersweet. I'm eager again for My Gym classes and strolling the malls that have transformed from boring to some Winter Winterland in our absence and new tot trays and a routine that just a little bit feels like a schedule. Without a schedule, my brain feels like exploding. "We're on vacation, we don't need a schedule," my mother says and a piece of me dies a little. I thrive on schedules and then inevitably overdose and start longing for spontaneity. At least temporarily. Eventually it gives me a headache.
Be back to the real world soon, I promise.