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The Vacation Rearview Mirror

Did I mention there was also a dead bird there? IT'S TRUE.

Did I mention there was also a dead bird there? IT’S TRUE.

Today is the first day of school here in NYC. The day when kids trudge/scamper to a place they love/hate/feel indifferent to, so that one day they might grow up to become attorneys/dentists/astronauts. Just, please Sweet Baby Jesus, whatever they turn out to be, let it not be actors (frowny face emoji). I say this from experience.

 In any case, it’s also the day when kids pick up a pencil for the first time in three months and attempt to write something coherent, usually on the subject of “summer reflections.”

Listen, every parent who takes their young children on vacation knows this to be true: vacation is not for the grown-ups. As a parent, you have to find a way to be OK with this, because it is going to happen with or without your permission. Just throw yourself and your own needs on the vacation pyre and pray that your children will have a fantastic time, and you’ll be fine. That’s what we do, anyway; and truthfully, we do it with a smile on our face. For God’s sake, it’s for the kids.

So one would hope that a child’s Most Precious Memory of said vacation, would be something along the lines of “We went on this fantastic boat, and I caught a fish and it was the biggest fish ever and then we had chocolate cake and then we sat as a family on the hammock and I braided my mommy’s hair while we watched the sunset and it felt like magic!!” When you’re old and tired and rocking on your porch, it will be amazing to read that meaningful essay that your child wrote that one time, and it will warm your heart and bring a tear to your eye.

Except hahaha you dreamer! GET REAL.

Kids don’t remember that stuff!

I’m curious about how my childrens’ conversations about their summer will go. In fact, I’m curious about how all the children’s conversations about summer will go. Considering that The Thing That My Children Seem To Remember Most Fondly From Vacation, the Takeaway… the end result of all of our hard work and the love and elbow grease we put into planning a beautiful family and sunshine filled vacation is:

When we went into a McDonald’s bathroom on the drive home, and they all saw diarrhea sprayed on the wall.

Wait! There was also an unforgettable dead bird at the place we rented, which was gross, and thus memorable. Certainly more memorable than spending two weeks in a pristine Canadian wonderland with 24/7 smiles on our faces.

I think if I was a teacher, I would compile a huge master list of all the children’s descriptions of what they do in their spare time and turn it into a massive art installation called Precious Memories. Here’s how I think it would go:

“We went to France over the summer and it was great because we got to chew gum on the plane”

“Summer was fun. I watched TV”

“The Caribbean was nice. My aunt passed gas in the change room when we were trying on bathing suits”

I have to wipe a tear from my eye just thinking about it…

xo

Sam

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