Ah, vacation, an illustrious, sometimes coveted, despised, and even long sought after of a word. Vacation. One little word can stir up so many interpretations of what it is, how to have it, how to enjoy it, and even what to do with it.
My Merriam & Webster Dictionary (yes, of course, I still have one of these sitting on my bookshelf!) states that vacation, as a noun, is a period of rest from work, a holiday to use the British terminology. It can also be used as a verb, in that I take a vacation, or I am on holiday (I really like using the term “holiday”, it just sounds much more stylish and glamorous.)
When you become a mom, your interpretation of vacation may vary slightly from what it once was in your youthful days of frolicking on the beach, or independently touring international cities. I once went to Germany. I enjoyed wonderful food, tasty beers, and pretty eclectic clubs. I walked silently through the museums and castles, took in the history, sat outside in the parks and watched the people walk by.
My husband and I used to partake in cruises, usually one every 18 months or so. I loved those vacations, if for no other reason than I really felt like I was on vacation as electronically I was completely disconnected from work. We sat on beaches, did some biding at art auctions, snorkeled in Grand Cayman, toured the Mayan Ruins in Cozumel, took a river cruise in Ocho Rios. We were completely free spirits. What a time! And how long ago those days seem.
Last summer, we went on our first official family vacation with Davey to Myrtle Beach, where my parents have a condo. My husband took two books to read, he didn’t finish reading half of one. I planned to sun bathe by the pool. I came back about as white as I was when I left. We definitely didn’t go to a fancy dinner anywhere. No sir, not with a nine month old running around.
These days, I don’t look to beaches or far away places for vacation. I actually look a mile down the road to our local Wal-Mart. You see, being a stay-at-home mom (well, maybe any mom for that matter), a vacation becomes any time, even if it’s a mere half an hour, when you have some time alone. Who would have ever thought that I’d ask my husband to watch our son long enough for me to make a jaunt into Wal-Mart? No, honey, there’s nothing I need there. I just need to get out of the house. Oh, you and Davey would like to come along too? Yeah, well, that’s not really what I’m looking for.
Does this sound bad? Maybe. When I first became a mom, it worried me that I wanted time away. Almost 19 months into the job, and yeah, I don’t feel quite so guilty.
What I do feel bad about, though, is that I consider a trip to the grocery store ALONE a vacation. I LOATHE the grocery store, or at least I did. Now, it’s my saving grace especially when my husband comes home.
You know, maybe one day, my husband and I will take those vacations of yore. I’ve always wanted to go on a Mediterranean cruise, but for right now I’ll consider my 30 minutes perusing through the gossip magazines at my local drug store as vacation enough. My, my, my, how times have changed.