Last week Tom and I spent a week at Smith Mountain Lake with his family. We also got to hang out with my family, since they happen to live in the area. Our vacation included four children under age three. Even though the adults outnumber the kids (6:4) every day still felt like a series of endurance events. I’d wake up every morning, and take a deep breath at the starting line: lifting Mary Virginia from her crib and nursing her for the first time.
The rest of the day was a cacophony of: Waffles! Trucks! Sunscreen! Bathing suits! Diapers! Wrestle! Trucks! Snacks! Lifejackets! Boys, share the trucks! Boats! Water! Lunch! Trains!
And then? And then nap time. That’s when we’d finally catch our breath. We’d put the three older kids to bed, Mary Virginia would wake up, and we’d haul books and beers and three humming monitors down to the dock for some adult/newborn time. That’s also when Tom and his brother would resume their week-long debate about which cut of meat makes the best barbecue and what is the appropriate cheese for making nachos. I rolled my eyes so much I sprained one of them.
A few hours later the kids woke up and it’d start all over again: Diapers! Trucks! Snacks! Trucks! Boys, remember to share! Boats! Fish! Water! Dinner! What time is it? Is it bedtime? How can it possibly only be 6:30? Trucks! Bath! Pajamas! Books!
Then when we finally went to bed, I would exhale because, we made it! We not only survived another day, but we had fun! And David shared once!
(And then, because I have a newborn, my nighttime endurance event began.)
We kept commenting about how last year, Caleb was David’s age, David was Berkley Grace’s age, and Berkley Grace was Mary Virginia’s age. Next year, there probably won’t be another Krieger newborn, but the cacophony will, surely, be just as rich.
So, vacation is different now. It isn’t necessarily “restful” or “relaxing”. But, boy, is it memorable.