We went on what I like to think of as a “mini-vacation” this past weekend. We took the boys out of school a couple hours early and headed for Chicago.
Since the kids have been born, I have to admit that I am not much of a vacationer. It. Is. So. Much. Work. Yes, work… not relaxing. Work. It really seems like I need to take half of the house with me in order to be prepared for anything that we may even possibly think about needing. You know, like diapers, wipes, bottles, snacks, Band-Aids, extra clothing… now that they are getting bigger this is getting a little better…
We have gone on a few vacations though—to Disneyworld and the beach, and things went well. For the most part, the kids have always done well. Of course, we do hear the typical things that you would expect to come from the back seat: “Are we there yet?” “I need to use the bathroom!” “Mom, he’s touching my stuff!” Did I mention we have THREE boys?
Even though the kids do pretty well and are excited when we go on vacation, I still don’t really feel relaxed though. I mean, it’s a lot of pressure to make sure all three kids actually stay with us so that we don’t come home with only two… or just one…
So on our mini-vacation, this past weekend, we went to Chicago and tried to make it fun for the kids—riding the train into downtown, going to Skydeck Ledge, visiting Legoland… even getting to try authentic Chicago-style deep dish pizza.
But the event that stood out to me this weekend was brunch at the hotel on Sunday morning. It was crowded. Really crowded. There was a long line for the waffle maker, and of course, the kids wanted waffles. There were no tables big enough for our party of five. But there was a table in the corner for two. So I asked an elderly couple sitting close by, if we could borrow a couple of chairs from their table. They indicated that no one was sitting there, so I scooted them over to our table. Ok. Now the kids could be seated while I worked on getting their breakfast and my husband could watch them to make sure no one got away. Whew. See what I mean, even just getting a table for breakfast was work. So I got the boys eggs and some cereal to be eating. Then went back up for extra plates, napkins and silverware. Work. Then back up for water and orange juice. Work. Everyone was happy—sort of, “Mom, can I please have a waffle?” Of course, the little guy only wanted pancakes. And there were no pancakes.
By this time, the line died down for waffles, so I put some batter in the waffle maker and even got my husband some eggs and juice to be eating while he made sure no one escaped. Finally, we had a waffle. So everyone was happy. Time to relax and eat my breakfast. Then the little guy spilled his water—and started to cry. I told him it was ok… And as I tried to make my way around the table (it was very crowded, so I had to go past that elderly couple again), that sweet elderly lady stopped me and said,
“You’re a good mom.”
I thanked her. I should have hugged her. She will never know how much I needed to hear that. That little bit of encouragement made my day. It was all I needed to realize that this work was my life. My life with little kids that will soon be big.
If you see a Mom with little kids, give her a word of encouragement today. It may mean more than you know.