I hate traveling.
The sorting, organizing, planning, packing and cleaning required to even walk out the door makes me insanely anxious. And how in the hell am I supposed to get the entire contents of my bathroom to fit in one clear, quart-sized, zip-lock bag? I loath unloading everything in my carry-on, stripping off jewelry and shoes, walking through scanners and then re-loading everything back in my carry-on as fast as humanly possible before getting run over by the people behind me.
I also refuse to check a bag and pay another $25 if it can be avoided.
DW turned 40 and his dad turned 65 on August 10th this year. Originally we had thought about heading down to Texas to celebrate both milestone birthdays together, and be able to include DW’s brother and two kids. Although I loathe traveling, I love the destinations. Traveling seems a small price to pay in order to be with our family. However, when my very generous mother-in-law suggested she fly DW’s brother and two kids out to Michigan instead, while she and Pops drove, I didn’t hesitate to accept the offer.
We get to spend time with DW’s family, including his brother’s family, every year, but I live out of my comfort zone. Suitcases and schedules get in the way of really being relaxed sometimes. There is something very intimate about sharing my home with others that I just don’t get to do very often with our families. This is only the second time all four cousins have spent time together in years without the distractions of busy schedules and juggling other friends and family. It is the first time I have had them all together in my home.
I spent Friday to Tuesday morning planning and preparing for everyone’s arrival. Instead of writing, I cleaned. Instead of reading, I made meal plans. Instead of staying up late watching movies, I researched all the fun things we could do while they are here. By Tuesday afternoon our “vacation” began. We have played games, eaten a few meals around my kitchen table, gone to the zoo, watched a movie and listened to four giggling, sleepy kids snuggling under the covers pretending to go to sleep. There are still three more days to secure memories. Everybody leaves Monday.
Although everyone else is living a more nomadic lifestyle this week, I have tried my best to make it as comfortable as possible. But I must admit, bringing everyone here for a change isn’t only a gift to my husband, it is also a gift to my children. It is pure joy to watch them delight in sharing their rooms, their toys and their favorite spots with their cousins.
Cleaning my house for four days, tiring.
Figuring out meals and entertainment for nine people, nerve-wracking.
Building memories that will last a lifetime, awesome.
*I will be back to my normal writing schedule by Tuesday.