In December, Matt and I celebrated our fifteenth anniversary. It is crazy how fast those fifteen years passed by. To celebrate, we planned a trip to the beach. Alone. It has been SO strange. I really didn't imagine a trip alone would seem so foreign to me, but all day long, I have noticed the differences between an adult only and family vacation. You know what I am talking about.
For one, I only had to pack one bag. ONE!!! It was MAGICAL!!! Now, Matt always just packs one bag so this is not a new experience for him, but I usually pack FOUR!!!! That means I have to find sock matches from the laundry basket for FOUR people for a WEEK!!! That is 28 matches I have to make all at once. Makes me wanna poke my eye out.
We listened to whatever we wanted on the radio and heard no arguments from the backseat about which movie to watch. One time during the trip I even turned around because I thought the kids were asleep. Nope. The backseat was empty. So strange. I also got to keep my phone with me THE ENTIRE TRIP, people!!!!!!!!!!! Too bad I only have kid games on there.
Then, when we stopped to go to the bathroom (which was THREE full hours into the trip I might add), I got myself out of the car, walked in, used the bathroom, didn't have to help anyone, didn't have to roll up toilet paper, didn't have to help anyone squirt soap, and I didn't have to say hurry up one single time. Is this real life?!?!?! And when I left the bathroom, I went back to the car without spending $15 on gas station snacks that I would have later found smashed and stuck to my floorboard. Can I get an Amen?!
Soon it was lunchtime and you know what happened. Sit down, people. I GOT TO PICK WHERE WE ATE!!!!!!!!! And Matt knew he better just say, "That sounds great, baby!" So that's what he said. We went in and I picked my own food. I didn't have to share with anyone, I didn't worry about how much our bill was going to cost because my kids are growing at an exponential rate therefore consuming the calories to fuel the growth. I just got what I wanted and ate it. No one spilled any drinks. No one fought about who was going to sit by me. And Carys didn't need me to take her to the bathroom right as the food came out. Ahhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!
After we ate, I got coffee and a donut at Dunkin' Donuts. Now I usually don't drink coffee on a road trip or in the afternoon, but after I realized how quick a bathroom stop could be I was all like, "Let's party!" So I drank that coffee and ate my entire donut and from that point forward we had to make bathroom stops every hour. Sorry, Matt.
Once we got settled, we made our usual trip to pick up groceries for the week. You will never believe what happened! I didn't buy any Capri Suns or Gogurt. I didn't say, "No. Go put that back." And most importantly, we got to pick out our own flavor Pringles! BAM!
And even though it has been a great day, it has also been very eye opening. I learned a lot. I actually missed packing their bags. I missed playing the sock matching game to see who can get the most matches before all the socks are matched. I missed the peaceful moments in the backseat when I catch a glance of them all playing and laughing together. I missed folding up toilet paper and squirting soap in the bathroom. I missed watching them use their decision making skills when we tell them they can pick one thing at the gas station or watching them using their coping skills when we tell them they cannot get anything. I missed eating their leftovers from their plates to save money at the restaurant. And I miss them fighting to sit next to me. The fridge in the condo looks bare because there are no Capri Suns or Gogurt, but I do not feel bad about having my own can of Pringles!
I miss them. I miss the moments. One day I won't have to pack their bags and their socks won't be in the baskets to match. One day they won't be riding in my backseat. They will be driving their own cars and I will be lucky if I can convince them to come on a vacation with me. One day I will be tired of picking where to eat out all the time. One day they won't be fighting to sit next to me- they will be out eating with their friends. One day Capri Suns and Gogurts will be a thing of the past and I will wish the kids were running up to me in the store asking to put snacks in the buggy.
Time is a strange thing. It passes so slowly until you realize it has passed so fast. Enjoy the moments- the ones that drive you crazy- because one day...
I am Chamie, wife to Matt; mom to Callan (14), Cooper (11), and