It was all planned… a much needed mini vacation, staycation, whatever you wanted to call it to Whistler. We were ridiculously excited to go as a family of four. Disneyland happened, surely we could do a vacation to the local ski resort. Little did we know that it would not be the vacation we hoped for. We soon came to realise that travelling with little kids meant this was something else.
– this was a trip NOT a vacation –
Parenting is hard. It’s up there as the hardest thing we have ever done. Jason and I are incredibly thankful to have the other on this journey too. We have been in the thick of things with a serious rough patch for some time now. There have been many days that have started and ended with tears because we feel like we’re failing as parents.
Then we are reminded that we were given these children. God gave us these two girls – to us, no one else! No one else can parent them like we can. There are definitely going to be more days to come that leave us feeling like we have our work cut out for us, but we are the ones meant to accomplish this work. The work of raising them and being their parents.
With all of that in mind, we had hoped that this would be the vacation we needed. A chance to reset and start again. A time to focus on just our little family of four. We loaded up our suitcases, made sure to check the packing list over and over so that we did not forget anything. We knew we would be in for it if we forgot Panda (Evie’s favourite stuffie) or the owl sound machine. Once everything was packed Tetris-style into the vehicle we hit the road to head out of town. This should have been hint number one that this was a trip, not a vacation.
1. an act of going to a place and returning; a journey or excursion, especially for pleasure.
“Sally’s gone on a school trip”
synonoms: excursion, outing, jaunt
There are many other things that happened and by noon on our first full day in Whistler we were done and debating packing up and going back home. Vacations are meant to be relaxing, fun, and full of making memories. We knew something needed to change, we just didn’t know what.
As we were walking down the street of the village we heard some young people calling out asking for someone to buy their brand new sled they just bought that day but needed to get rid of because they were going home soon. Evie was the first to say something, though we all through it. “Mama, can we get the sled?” We hadn’t packed ours because we weren’t sure if there was even going to be snow in the village and any need for one. Without hesitation, I walked back with Evie and we asked the girls how much.
We almost missed out on getting the sled, someone else had said they might be interested but needed to get some cash. Thankfully it worked out in Evie’s favour. The sled became ours thanks to some change I had in my wallet. We took off to where the skating rink and outdoor play area is in the village and just played together as a family. It was the first time I’d smiled that trip. The girls loved being outside and playing in the snow. There was a small hill that the girls were able to go down. Yes, even Addie at 1 year old went down the hill on the sled all on her own!
Sure things may not go as planned, we needed to remember why we went in the first place. Family time. We had to refocus and get things going again. We needed to have fun, laugh, and smile together. Going sledding did just that. I will forever remember the girls in that period of time. Our “vacations” may not involve lounging beachside kidless, that is okay. Things might go wrong, or not the way we planned. We cannot let that put us in a funk.
We will take our trips. We will make the most of them. We love each other. This is our family. This is our vacation together. We are in this together. Even if it means we are all up crying at 2am because we all need sleep but no one is sleeping, and all we can do is pray for even just an hour or two fo shut eye and some very strong coffee in the morning. Some day, some day in the future we will go on a vacation where we actually relax.