I always resist leaving. The laundry. The packing. The cleaning. The making arrangements. The cleaning out the fridge.
And then as soon as I'm out the door I wonder why we don't do more of this.
We spent Tuesday at Sea World. Ethan declared it the best day of his life, and it was up there for me as well. The San Diego weather was perfect and my kids were at the perfect age to really enjoy the park. Although Olivia did think she was too young to go to the Sesame Street 4D interactive film, mortified to the point of tears...what if someone finds out?!...but when it was over she sadly said, "That's the end?" Ethan was just barely tall enough (we told him to stand on his tiptoes) to ride the rides with us and was out of his mind with joy on the "Journey to Atlantis." We stayed almost til closing, but had gotten our jackets wet on the rides and were really cold by the time 8:30 rolled around. So we headed back to the hotel for a round of hot baths.
On Wednesday, Dave took a cab to the airport and I successfully managed to get the car out of the tight parking garage (I told you I could do it) and we headed for Santa Barbara.
After successfully navigating LA traffic, we spent the next three glorious days with our good friends from graduate school. Alexis was such a gracious host (even though our visit was hot on the heels of other company) and we had a wonderful time together. She is, as always, just what I needed.
My favorite part of the whole trip came on Thursday afternoon, when I took my kids to the nearby beach. There was a breeze blowing and the Pacific water is just as cold as it always was, but my kids still wanted to swim and play in the surf. I spent one of the best afternoons of my life sitting against some big rocks with the sun warming my face, watching my children play in the ocean. After a while Ethan got cold enough to come for a jacket and a snuggle and he fell asleep on me while the other kids built sandcastles with connecting "canal systems." My heart nearly burst at the joy of that contented, peaceful moment.
We headed for home late Friday afternoon. Crazy to go so late and right in the middle of Friday night traffic, but by then I was longing to see David and the kids were starting to be a bit affected by all the late night sleepover chatting (yes, the tears were starting to come fast and furious), so we said our goodbyes with promises of a reunion in Big Bear as soon as possible, and started for home.
Spring break was the perfect antidote for a looming breakdown, for me and the kids. We're almost there...just two more months. Olivia was all anxiety and stress this morning, scared she had forgotten everything and the impending AIMS tests have her in full panic-mode. I am so glad we had last week together.
I made this little video because there were just so many pictures...too many to post (though clearly it will be of little interest to anyone but me). David thinks my second song choice is nothing short of dumb, but I love it, so there you go. Before everything else...before school and friends and scouts and achievement days and violin and dance and all they have going on in their little lives...I loved them first. They were mine first (and always) and I jealously guard these moments with them.