Well, we came home yesterday from our big beach trip, amid 4th of July traffic, motion sickness, and diaper blowouts. When we opened the door to our house, we discovered that our cats had both puked and peed on our carpet, and that there was not a scrap of food in the pantry or fridge.
Welcome home, right?
And, since then, I have been asked about half a dozen times, how was your vacation? And, despite the cheery pictures, I've had to answer, okay. Not great or terrific, but okay.
You see, in my opinion, our vacation wasn't any of those wonderful superlatives. I thought, at first, that I was just being my pessimistic self, seeing only the bad and assuming the good didn't exist. But Adrian agrees with me. We didn't have a great time last week.
And it's our own fault. I went to the beach expecting to do certain things and go certain places together, both as a family and as a couple. Adrian went expecting to relax and take a break from normal life. Neither of us got what we wanted, because we neglected to consider not only the desires of our other half, but also the demands of our little guy. We realized that, deep down, we were both thinking about this trip selfishly. We both wanted to do what we wanted, when we wanted, and that ship sailed the day we became parents.
Now, I'm not saying that children are a terrible burden and I wish we'd never had one. We love our little guy as much as is humanly possible and get a tremendous amount of joy out of raising him, but it's an undeniable fact that if mom and dad want peace and quiet, and a baby wants something else, the baby wins. Parenthood is a neverending job, which seems like an obvious point until you stop and think about it. Never. Ending.
This past week, we were forced to stop and think about what our new job descriptions mean. We talked about what we expect from vacations in the future. We lowered our expectations a bit. And we agreed to stop being so darn selfish!
This year's vacation could have been the most fun it's ever been. We're a family. We have a little smile-machine to enjoy. But we spent so much time arguing, blaming, and accusing that we missed out. I'm glad that we had this experience, because it forced us to talk about some things we'd been ignoring. I just wish we somehow could have gotten all the unpleasantries out of the way before our vacation. Then we could have had a great (instead of an okay) time enjoying the beach and each other.