11 February 2015

Going 5th-Wheeling

One summer back in 2012, despite our inability to tan properly or to tolerate the heat (that’s just the womenfolk), my family decided to take the 5th wheels on a little vacation to the lake. And us with a 2-year-old! Thank you, you’re right: we’re heroes of the highest order.

She packed everything but the kitchen sink.

Traveling with short people adds a whole new dimension to vacations. Like I heard someone say once: it’s just working off site. So true. So true.

But the sight is always so sweet and so cute and so innocent. So far, anyway. She was 22 months here. The face is still the same at 4, but everything has expanded exponentially. Her legs spill out of her bed at night, her arms can reach the higher shelves in the fridge now, and her hair requires its own zip code. Country music singer hair, as we call it.

We thoroughly enjoyed our time there, despite how it looks. We went for a big boat ride on the lake, we went out in Brady’s john boat, we ate junk food when Katie wasn’t looking and ice cream and fruit when she was, we sweated, we applied sunscreen, and we swam in the pool.

I think that was my favorite part. Watching her daddy help her move around in the kiddy pool…her serious as Congress and him in his cowboy hat and 12-year-old swim trunks.

I know they’re 12-years-old, because he wore them to my apartment complex in 2000 when I was staying at University Commons in College Station, fresh into TAMU. A whole group of us gathered around the apartment complex pool after dark and swam and laughed and generally acted jovial. And there he was…just a friend then…sitting in the lounge chair in a straw hat and those swim trunks.

They have pictures of cotton bolls all over them. Which seems odd to me now….

As we bopped over the water at a reasonable speed, I watched how much fun my baby girl was having and thought to myself, “Why don’t we do this more often?” It was a brand new experience for her – and one she probably won’t remember, unfortunately – and an experience that I’ve always enjoyed.

Then, I remembered the detailed packing list it took me four days to put together, the five days of packing after she was in bed, the laundry that I had to keep current, the grocery and dry goods list for the trailer, the actual shopping for said items, the prepping of the house and animals to be gone for a full weekend, cleaning the travel trailer, stocking the travel trailer, loading the travel trailer, and biting my fingernails to the quick. Not to mention fashioning a tent for the baby’s pack-n-play in the upper level of the trailer, closthespinning blankets to it to keep the lights out, and duct taping the skylight closed because HELLO. Don’t.wake.the.baby.

Oh that’s right. THAT’S why we don’t travel.

But we’ll have the pictures to show her what she did and how much fun she had. We’ll have pictures of her sitting and contemplating with her daddy and pictures of her eating Gerber cheesy puffs with her cap on backwards.

The entire time I squatted next to her at the front of the boat so that she could watch the water and other boats fly by, I held on tight and tried not to imagine what would happen if she decided to jump ship. I kept planning what action steps I would take to rescue her and save ourselves.

Do other mamas do this, or am I the weirdest thing in freckles?

The day I smiled at Brady for this picture and held tight to my one and only offspring, I couldn’t have imagined our life three years later, with Beau in my arms, too. With Katie as a big sister, running to check on him every time he bangs his head on something and giving him a kiss. She wants to smother him with big sister love, and he wants to bat her off and laugh about it.

Brady Beau loves the water. Bath time is monumental, to say the least. She always calmly enjoyed the warm water; he has taken it as his personal mission to wet every surface in the bathroom. As he romped and splashed last night, Katie quipped: “Brother, you don’t have to be so cowboy-ish in the tub!”

I die.

I don’t know where she comes up with this stuff, but I love it. She says she gets it from her Tupperware, while pointing at her head.

School is supposed to be starting soon for her…only about six more months. (Breathe in, breathe out, breathe in, breathe….) She randomly told me the other day: “Mama, I’m really gonna miss you when I’m at school.”

Then, through my inner panic, I heard her say: “And Beau is really gonna miss ME when I’m in school!”

Great. I hadn’t thought of that possibility yet. I’m always grateful for something else to worry about.

All in all, it was a really fun little vacation, and travelling with her made it fun and exciting in a new way. And as we pulled into the driveway late that Sunday afternoon, I seriously considered selling the entire trailer and all of its contents, as is, just so I wouldn’t have to unpack it.

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