Vacation or Relocation? Thoughts from the Shore

I'm down the shore this week. Even as I type the sentence it feels strange. It's so Jersey. As a non-native, I am acutely aware of local linguistics. While I've bounced in and around the Garden State, this is my family's first official stay at the shore. And while we're only a few days in, I'm happy to report our love and gratitude has intensified for the specialness of shorelines.

We decided to rent a place in Ocean City, New Jersey. The family-friendly factor was a big sell as was the walkability of the rental we selected. Thus far it's been nothing but sand, sunshine, and silliness. It's exactly what we set out for this past Saturday. But as I packed our car to the brim I couldn't help but think of what a fellow mama and dear friend said to me recently, which is that vacation for families with small children is otherwise known as relocation. 

This saying has served as a reminder for my expectations and further saved me from frustrations. Vacations sans children usually included happy hours, sleep, and carefree adventures. And while we definitely savored every sip of our wine post-bedtime routine last night, we felt weary after over-stimulated and exhausted children melted down on the way home from dinner. Because while we're on vacation, there's an obvious relocation of needs, realities, and rest that kids require. 

Our kids still need naps. We continued to be surrounded by diapers and white noise. My purse is forever full of sunscreen and snacks. I am the queen of baby wipes. We relocated all of this with us. Being off schedule is a challenge. Moods change quickly. Sand gets everywhere. When we acknowledge and accept this, our vacation vibe is more positive and productive.

How we vacation has changed, but what we gain from this time with one another, and for ourselves, is significant. I'm off to savor the rest of naptime and read on the porch.  From beautiful Ocean City, New Jersey, I wish you well.