A vacation is defined as a period of leisure and recreation spent away from the home.
Packing your kids in your car for an 8 hour drive to Disney World is not what I'd call a vacation.
A form of capital pushiment...maybe?
The 7th Circle of Hell?
That's certainly how it feels 30 minutes in when they're already fighting with each other, crying over who gets to pick the movie to watch, and asking how much longer until we arrive.
No, none of this is what I'd describe as a leisure activity. But here I am, doing it anyway.
This is a trip. A long, torturous trip that has me questioning my religion, and my decision to get married and have children. I should have just been a crazy cat lady. At least cats don't throw tantrums when you refuse to let them get candy at the gas station you stopped at for the much needed bathroom break.
We do it every year, my husband and I. We leave late at night, driving straight through, in the hopes that our children will sleep the whole way. They never do.
Instead they sleep intermittently. And whine constantly.
They whine about how uncomfortable they are. They whine because I cannot hold them. They whine because they're children, and that's just what children do.
We end up exhausted and stressed to the max by the time we arrive at the resort, and they are so wound up that we end up zombies, sitting by the pool struggling to keep our eyes open while we watch them splash around.
And yet, we continue to endure this torture, year end and year out. Why? Because we're gluttons for punishment, obviously. But also because, it makes our children gloriously happy.
I cannot think of anything more precious than the sound of my toddler's voice when we pass the "Welcome to Disney World" sign and he gleefully screams "MICKEY MOUSE, MAMA!!"
There's nothing sweeter than watching my daughter's eyes light up and hearing her say "I'm so happy! I can't wait to go to Cinderella's castle!"
And that's why we do it. Because their happiness is paramount to our own.
Because we would walk through fire if it meant they never knew an ounce of sadness.
Because they are the reasons we live and breathe.
It's a sweet payoff.
When we walk into Magic Kingdom tomorrow, all will be forgotten as precious memories are being made. That doesn't mean they won't still cry or complain about something. Even at the happiest place on earth, children can still find a reason to be upset.
I'm sure we'll see some tears, hear an incessant amount of whining, and we'll probably consider putting them on a plane back home to my parents. But we won't. We'll try to savor every minute until we have to load the car up once again, and make the long journey home.
Maybe in between the lull of chaos, I'll find time to book an actual vacation.
To a private island.
In complete solitude.
Where there are fruity drinks and endless massages to be had.
And DVR so I can watch Real Housewives.
A girl can dream, can't she?