Having spent plenty a family “vacation” driving around until my cranky kiddies would finally, blessedly fall asleep, I totally understand.
So when my kids were little and people asked me “How was your vacation?”, I would say, “Oh, the kids had a great time!” And then I’d regale them of stories involving water park slides, boardwalk prizes and cookies & cream ice cream with rainbow sprinkles.
It never occurred to me to actually answer their question, because that would require me to reflect on a. how I felt about the vacation/trip, and b. what kind of time I had. But I’m not sure I remembered how to do that, as though the “I” muscle no longer worked, having been neglected for the “them” muscle all those years.
Their chicken nuggets. Their swim diapers. Their beach toys.
So when a friend asked me this week, “How was your summer?” I paused. I thought about taking the kids tubing on Lake George and about us ripping along on the Cyclone at Coney Island. I thought about my evening watching a magic show with friends on the boardwalk in Asbury Park, New Jersey, and my afternoon with a dear friend who’d just found a litter of kittens in her yard. I thought about my night at the MOTH storytelling night in SoHo, and the day I got to have my photo taken in pink snakeskin pants for a magazine (“Moms Who Rocked Cancer,” Parenting, October ’12.)
“I had a great summer…,” I answered, “and my kids did, too.”
Tell us: Did you have a summer vacation or a “trip”?