You want your vacations to be perfect, right? After all, you spend all that time, money, and energy into creating a magical event to create family bonding memories. In reality, vacations can be some of the most stressful events ever!
We decided to take the kids to the beach for one final fling before the baby gets here and life has to get all serious again… I’ve tried to warn the kids that once she arrives, the first few weeks may be a little challenging because I’m going to be in recovery and all that. So, to create a memory, we rented a travel trailer and headed for San Diego.
The kids had their first boogie-board experience and loved it. The sand was perfect, the weather was beautiful, and we had a great time. On the way home, we swung up north into San Bernardino county to visit our old stomping grounds and reconnect with some old friends. As we arrived on that Saturday afternoon, it became clear that our van had a problem. No longer would it shift gears!
Our intent was to come home on Sunday, but the mechanic told us that the broken cable was only available through the dealer, which wouldn’t be open until Monday. So we took a deep breath, and decided to make the most of the extra day of our stay.
Monday morning we got a phone call, and were told that the dealer didn’t have the part and it had to be overnighted from Georgia. I began to wonder if I’d have this baby in California after all! So we got a few more groceries and hunkered down for yet another day.
How would your attitude be at this point? Gratefully, my husband didn’t have to report to anyone for being absent an extra 2 days, but we did have to keep the schools informed of the children’s absences. Even so, the car repair and the 2 extra days of trailer rental had not been part of the plan. Our oldest son had a band concert that Tuesday night that he could not afford to miss, so we borrowed a friend’s car and drove him an hour down the mountain to catch the next plane home. Grandpa picked him up and he got himself to the concert while we spent about seven hours driving home later that night.
Who wouldn’t feel irritable with all of these unforeseen expenses? Most people would be. But if you have read Hidden Treasures then you know that by the law of Polarity, “bad” situations always contain within them the seed of something wonderful. This situation was no different.
Never before has our family had the luxury of more than 56 hours with nothing to do, and nowhere to go! The kids discovered an element of creativity that they had never had to enlist before. We pulled off the road to play in the Mojave River bed. Seven years of living within a mile of it, and we had never done that before. We fed the ducks and had s’mores with some local friends, as we camped at the lake nearby, again, where we had never camped before.
I was amazed at how patient the children were as they sat in the car for hours on end, driving around to visit grownups that they scarcely remembered. I realized that so long as mom and dad are not stressed out and rushed, the kids are more relaxed as well. Who could’ve known?
My children played together, overlooking age differences and enjoying nature. What rich memories we created, and only because things had “gone bad”!
Life is like that. Every detour we are required to take has some breathtaking scenery if we’ll allow ourselves to just look around a bit… don’t make the mistake of missing the view by focusing too intently on the problem.