Today, while we were driving to the second store of the day (the second store on my list of errands that needed to be done today), Mickey said to me “I think this is the most excited I’ve been about a vacation in a while.”
We love to travel to Hilton Head or home to Pennsylvania. His grandparents lived on a farm and there is a sense of peace that it brings us when we visit. Our kids love to go there and just explore. I don’t know what it is about living in a small town (especially a small rural town) but it just has a way to bring you back to yourself. That’s the thing about taking the kids there- we want them to come back to themselves, to be able to take a minute to experience the feelings that we had when we lived there.
That’s why we go to Hilton Head, too. It was like my 2nd home, with my grandparents living there for over 30 years. I always say that one day we will own a little house on the water… nothing fancy, but something that reminds me of the peace that the ocean brings when I would open my eyes in the morning.
I want the same feeling that I got when I would go to my grandma’s gym… in her gym (she lived on Hilton Head) there was this beautiful room with a huge glass wall. I went there with her, when we would visit, and she would take me to her pilates and yoga classes.
We would enter that room with the giant glass wall and the instructor would turn on Fleetwood Mac (another favorite of mine.) She would play the songs while my grandma and I would take class- her being all too serious about it, but whispering stories about the other women in class, while I tried to not snicker at all of us trying to do these crazy yoga moves… but none of us getting it just right.
One day, when class had emptied, my grandma and I stayed behind. We sat there, listening to that music and looking out onto the ocean waves.
I loved how the tall grass that sits on the dunes moved with the wind. I remember that part specifically.
We just talked… it was before I had children (while I was still in college), but she talked about the children that I would have one day and about Mickey (we were highschool/college sweethearts). She knew that I would have a family like hers. She said that she didn’t care if the doctor’s said that I couldn’t have children, because she knew that I would… and she was right.
She asked me to make her a Fleetwood Mac CD, so she could listen to it while she walked on the beach, after I left.
It has been about 13 years since that conversation with my grandma, but I remember it like it was yesterday. I still love to listen to Fleetwood Mac on my phone when we visit the ocean and I take a run along the beach … alone.
I love to look out at the water and think about her.
I love to look out at the waves crashing and feel a sort of peace that is only with me when I am there.
It feels so much like home to me… when our family is together without any distractions except the sandcastles, bike rides and waves to jump over…
Today, when Mickey said that he was excited to go back there, I knew that the real reason wasn’t because we love to bike or swim.
It was because of the people that we were with. It has always been that way… vacations, I mean.
It was because he has the same feeling as me. That feeling of gratefulness. The feeling of ‘is this real?’ The feeling of quietness. The feeling of togetherness.
So many times in our day we have the opportunity to create this feeling, at home. You don’t have to be away to do this. You don’t have to travel far to have this same feeling. It dawned on me today that while I love that feeling of vacation because we feel so connected and carefree when we are there, our children have the same feeling just being home…
A vacation is away from the business that keeps us from really talking.
away from the hurried rush of our day that keeps us from sitting and reading a book together…
away from the messages and phone calls that are never ending…
I want to encourage you to create this feeling at home. Our children will not be children for very long. Our 9 year old is over 1/2 way done living in our house… I can’t even begin to think of them not being home when I wake up in the mornings.
So what if they don’t make it to soccer this week because you had a family picnic?
So what if you can’t take in homemade cupcakes to school because you were busy playing with your daughter.
So what if you skipped the gym because your son wanted to go outside and play baseball.
Those things don’t matter… but these do:
I want our children to walk away with a feeling that their lives were so strongly connected to one another and their hearts were filled with so much gratitude that they always want to ‘come home’, no matter where home may be.
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