Monday, June 30, 2008

File Under: What Were We Thinking?

What possessed me to think, way back in December, that five weeks in England and France was a grand idea? What made me think, way back then, that the five of us would appreciate the amount of cash outlay to get us here? What strange state of mind was I in when I thought the kids would be overjoyed at seeing Paris, moved by the D-Day landing sites and happily travel hours on end to get from here to there to there to there to here again?

I need a vacation. I am two-fifths through our five-week journey, and I am in need of a vacation. Specifically, I am in need of a vacation from Youngest. Let's say we've been traveling 13 days. I believe that's about right. 13 days X 15 waking hours per day = 195 hours of awake vacation time for him. He has behaved approximately 10 of those hours. That is perhaps a bit too harsh of an indictment. Let's say he has behaved 20 of those hours.

For 175 hours, I have been wanting to strangle the little "savage," as Pete dubbed him and his siblings after one catastrophe in a motorway cafe. About three minutes into our being on top of the Eiffel Tower, Youngest starts in with, "I'm bored." He has picked up a line from "Diary of a Wimpy Kid" and has repeated it endlessly, merely to annoy the crap out of his brother and sister. He needles them. He needles us. He needles, needles, needles, and yet nothing is ever sewn. Except, perhaps, the last threads of my sanity, which our tenuously held together.

* * * *

I know that his antics will fade as time goes by. In a couple of years, when we look back on this vacation, we'll likely only remember the lovely ferry rides to and from France, the delicious crepes and paninis from the sidewalk vendors, the Eiffel Tour, the Mona Lisa and Venus de Milo and "real, live dead mummy" at the Louvre, the gloriousness of the Notre Dame, the fabulous flat we rented in Paris, the joyous times we had in Portland with Pete's sister and brother-in-law, and so on and so on and so on of the adventures yet to come in the next three weeks.

However, I will be able to look back at this post and remember the truth behind the faded memories. Then, again, perhaps I'll look at this years from now and be misty-eyed for Youngest, who will surely grow into a confident, able, stubborn-as-all-get-out adult. Whatever happens going forward, we'll always have Paris.


Sian said...

Hats off to you. Brave woman indeed not only to go travelling for fie weeks with kids, but mostly to try the Louvre as well!

Are you managing to get to Wales this trip? Drop by if you can!

cjm said...

I know this isn't the point of this post but had you taken me instead, I would have behaved at least 150 of those hours. Try to enjoy it. Gag him if you have to...

D... said...

I agree with CJH, you should have taken me with you instead. ;)

Minus Youngest's antics, it sounds like a marvelous time. Maybe he's peaked & the rest of the trip will be smooth sailing & good behavior? Good luck with the rest of the trip. I do hope ya'll enjoy!

Jillie Bean (AKA Bubba's Sis) said...

You could make your own version of "European Vacation"!

jenica said...


ok, that was mean. what i meant to say was.

Anonymous said...

It is wonderful that you are brave enough to give your children culture. For me culture will have to wait until I can stand them myself before I unleash them on others. I am planning a trip to Disney. I have a son with ADHD. I know for a FACT he will not handle a plane ride. I'm waiting another 2 years before we do that. He will be 10 and my youngest will be 6!

Standing *O* to you though. They will remember being with you. That is worth more then anything. Even sanity. ; )


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