If summer is characterized by looser routines, then vacation week during summer is characterized by no routine at all. Of course, if you consider eating ice cream each day a routine, then we've been downright regimented.
We've played miniature golf at an hour when the girls normally would be tucked into bed. We've taken a nature walk through a marsh with our daughters, nieces, and nephews. The kids discovered treasures in spades: a heap of pine cones, a cluster of cacti (who knew that cactus could grow in Delaware?), and a horseshoe crab shell. We made it back to the van just moments before the sky opened in an uproarious thunderstorm.
We've played Bingo. We've swum at the pool. Our children have contributed to coastal erosion by concealing ungodly quantities of sand in their swimsuits and depositing it in the shower when they've stripped and revealed their darkening tan lines.
Ahhh... it's vacation.
I sometimes wonder what our children will recall from our family vacations once they're older. What memories will they latch onto? Probably not the same memories that we, as their parents, will remember.
Kids do this. They forget details that we find memorable and they latch onto ones that we'll otherwise forget. They might remember throwing snap-its on the driveway with their cousins while eating a sticky freeze-pop. They probably will forget that we lugged three stuffed beach totes full of towels, sunscreen, pails, and shovels onto the beach each morning for them.
They're making their own memories. They won't be identical to ours, and that's part of the beauty. One day we'll get to reminisce with them and see what's sticks.
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