This is all I need

Facebook has been hitting us hard with “memories” of February vacations now past – cruises to the Caribbean, fat bikes in the snow, and California dreams flash through our feeds as we slog through this February vacation doing. . . nothing.

This was the plan. To stay home and skip the big trip in anticipation of a bigger adventure this summer when we go to Europe. And, as I lay in bed this weekend with a killer cold that still refuses to quit, there was some relief that I was not spending my sick days on a fabulous vacation.

With older kids, it is certainly easier to juggle a vacation week like this one because they are so much more self-sufficient. Let’s face it, on most days they would prefer to sleep until noon, and then find a friend to hang out with, or plug themselves into a non-stop stream of Twitch videos or makeup tutorials (you decide which kid is watching which).

But, at the risk of letting their brains completely turn to goo during the week, Steve and I claimed a day to hang out with the children.

Yesterday was dad’s day for skiing at a local mountain, and it took all my self-control not to wrangle the equipment and clothing for him. They ended up having a fabulous day, despite not being able to find our son’s ski equipment (hello rental) and getting a late start because it turns out we didn’t actually know where our daughter slept over the night before.

This happens more often than I care to admit.

I’d share pictures, but if there is one thing that does not happen when mom is not there its pictures. When it comes time to work on this year’s photo album I may just include a blank page.

Today was my turn and our son had two requests – visit our cousin’s new takeout place in West Roxbury, then have lunch at my extended family’s pub in Jamaica Plain. For fun, I threw in a trip to our financial institution to open checking accounts for the kids.

Other than looking up the address for Johnny’s Takeaway, setting my email vacation message – something I don’t often do if I’m out but not away – and remembering the kids Social Security cards and passports, there wasn’t much to prepare for today’s adventures.

And yet, or perhaps because of, it was a really great day. Yes, the food was great. Yes, it was great to see family. Yes, I was feeling super accomplished about getting those accounts opened.

But what really made it great was connecting with our kids. Listening to their opinions on music, television, and life in general. Talking about little things. Sharing stories. Considering our son’s future. And discovering our children have inherited our dark humor.

There is a very real chance we are going to hell. But we will have had a good laugh on the way there.

It was a reminder of something I discovered when they were very young – whether planning an adventure for one day, or several weeks, we don’t need much.

Just us.