It is summer vacation and this means more family time and possibly some family vacations! Family vacations can be great but they do not always meet our expectations.
We go into it like this…We want to make memories! It’s a once in a lifetime chance! We need to get pictures! You better behave! I said SMILE!
I can’t tell you how many kids I saw crying at Disney World (Including my own!). My girls and I started making up words to “When you wish upon a star” that weren’t very nice…more about dreams never coming true. It was funny at the time but also a little stressful.
My husband’s friend gave him this advice about Disney World, “just get out your wallet, take a bunch of pictures, and in 10 years, it will all make sense.” (The wallet part is so true!)
Often, we try to create the big moments for our kids. The Disney moments…the birthday parties… the Christmas morning magic. All of these things do create memories but truly the most amazing memories are usually in the quieter times. I remember going to Disney as a kid, but I mostly remember the car ride.
My favorite memories are in my back yard, swinging on my stomach on my swing or jumping on the trampoline. I loved it when my mom read me all the Judy Blume books. I liked “tooling around” in the car with my dad. I loved it when my brother lifted me up to make a basket in the hoop in our driveway.
We get so frustrated trying to get that perfect picture of everyone together. We have a classic “family portrait” from my childhood where my one brother is making a face, my other brother is laughing, you can tell my dad is saying something under his breath, and my mom does NOT look happy! It’s like the Santa pictures where the kids are crying. They are so great because they show what happens when you try to force the fun and togetherness!
My favorite pictures from growing up are the ones that aren’t perfect. We aren’t in matching outfits on a beach somewhere. We are in our home or our yard, laughing, living…often, you can see a mess in the background and our hair doesn’t look perfect but we’re happy, CONTENT.
Over spring break, we were on a ride at Disney World that had a fake beach and my daughter said, “I wish we were at the real beach, not on a ride with a fake beach.” (Out of the mouth of babes, huh?)
We can’t manufacture fun and we can’t make our kids have fun no matter where we are. We can love them and laugh with them and enjoy them whether we are on the road or at home…then we can let them decide which pictures they like best.