Change of scenery, new activities, different sites, yummy food are all my top choices (requirements) for a great vacation. Pretty easy right, or so I thought for our family vacation to Cape Cod. We all needed a break but sometimes you end up needing a vacation from your vacation. The two of us, understood before the trip began, that relaxation is just not part of a vacation with our tremedously active often not content little boy. Accepting this has helped start us out a little better and a little more prepared emotionally. Our son is totally flexibly inflexible when it comes to things like vacation (and well life in general). Our trip was exasperating, frustrating, nerve defying, exciting, and refreshing all at the same time. Kind of a bit like lemonade. A little sour with the sweet.
I worked hard to prep him for the trip and get him excited with special beach books, activities and just general prep for the change. This came about when he said he didn’t want to go on vacation. Basically, I found some fun books on going to the beach and as we read them, I talked about the things we would see and do. Usually, we can sell anything as an adventure rather than the activity it actually is. Better to say going on an adventure than going to the beach for example! We talked about our cottage by the sea, looking for ocean treasures, eating ice cream, the works! Inevitably what he really wanted was to go home shortly after arriving and most days after that (unless of course he was eating ice cream). We ate a lot of ice cream to get through the week. A little sweet with the sour this time.
My husband and I pushed on each day wondering if the next day would be the last. Could we take one more day? Could we find one more adventure to go on when we had already done 10 mini adventures in one day! I think you can count Trader Joe’s as an adventure after you have already been on a cool hike through a White Cedar Swamp on a boardwalk, checked out the Marconi site on the beach, lunch and play in Provincetown, Playground in Brewster, a fun book store (yes, this is a prefered activity), and an ice cream stop! This is all in one day, the first day and we had six more days to go! I wish I had tracked the mileage. Every day, we drove all the way north or south or east or west through 4th of July Cape Cod traffic. Not always a pretty site. Phew…
We did have a special opportunity to see fireworks but Liam wasn’t super excited and asked to go to bed instead. My husband and I could enjoy them still from our cottage and even from the windows surrounding our bed. People asked me if he was scared when I told them he would rather go to bed, but he wasn’t. That’s our Liam. Again always a little sweet with the sour.
In the end, we spent a week away together. Despite the blood, sweat and tears…. Yes there were all of that and then some! I can’t imagine he didn’t take away some love for the beach. In his own way he played, explored and discovered what was around him. The hard times are a bit blurrier now and the good times stand out. When you can pull yourself out of the situation, you see the light. He always managed to find some kids to watch or play with and we were very fortunate to have wonderful friends also vacationing on the Cape to meet up with and help share the vacation experience with Liam.
In so many ways, like Liam, I am happy to be back home in our little routine. It is of course safe and easy for us all to manage. I do still have a strong desire to continue to push his limits and help him find joy in new adventures and the world outside his home. Plus, every now and then this mommy needs to see something a little different! Sometimes you can make homemade lemonade from lemons if you are ready to accept the bitter-sweet that comes from an imperfect recipe.
Here are the memories my iPhone camera caught this past week, some are truly happy and some just appear happy. We know all to well, the camera captures the best of the worst sometimes. I will take it either way and hope the next time around is a bit sweeter! Recipes are a work in progress.