I was born to plan things, to want to plan them, to plan them far out in advance, even. But life has a funny way of changing things up, and you can either roll with it or spend a majority of the time severely pissed-off.
Personally, I prefer to roll with it although I'm not always entirely successful.
2005 was the year of the bonus baby and also the year my neck was cut open. I remember standing in the middle of the shoe section at Target when the doctor called me with the results of my biopsy. It is never a good sign when the doctor calls you himself (note to self: nurses deliver the good news).
2006 was the year of my son's cancer, and the year that my cancer came back. I had also decided to homeschool my girls. Sometimes I profoundly overestimate my capabilities.
In 2007, my son overcame his cancer. He beat it, but required major back surgery once his immune system had beefed back up (all his vertebrae were fused from T1 down).
2008 was the year of his hip surgery. Are you seeing a trend? For nearly four years, my life, our lives were wrapped up in survival. I lived at the hospital and later, the hospital moved to my family room. He spent many months propped, rolled, or wedged in a walnut-veneered hospital bed rental. We kept it in the family room so he could feel part of things. We also didn't go anywhere, that is unless the grocery store counts.
Only twice did we leave him, the rest of us all together, to give the other children some undivided attention.
2009 has been the year of the Spontaneous Trip, and oh how we've needed it. In January, Mr. O surprised me with an Anniversary trip to Newport. We did everything and nothing, we talked and we didn't, we laughed and we remembered what is was to be an "Us" again. It was the catalyst to our year of adventure.
That same month, my sister moved to California -I think we've seen her more this year than in all the years she lived in the next town over.
In May, some friends called about a last minute travel deal to the Caribbean. We said no, at first. We thought: It's not practical, we are too needed and have responsibilities. And then we remembered January and changed our minds.
Two weeks ago, we escaped back to the seaside and drank in the "Us" again. Only it was more relaxed this time, we read and we geeked-out on Internet time, we wrote and we sunned, we worked out and we slept in.
Sandwiched in between all this husband and wife time have been trips with the children to the tide pools, to Moonlight Beach, to visit cousins - but this past weekend is going down in my book as the Ultimate Weekend.
I pulled my daughters out of school and as a last-minute thought invited my mom along to visit my sister. To my delight, she agreed to ride shotgun. This was the weekend of Doing.
A) I NEVER drive in California but I did (on three major freeways), and no one died.
B) I NEVER actually get in the water at the beach but I did, my mom did, my sister did, and no one died. In fact, we perched ourselves on boogie boards, caught some waves and ate some salt water. Our hair frizzed out, the pages of our books crinkled with the humidity, and we all slept in the sun until it was too tired to hang there for us any more.
C) I NEVER go to amusement parks and the two times I did I NEVER went on the crazy rides, but I did, I got soaked, and I loved it. And guess what, NO one died. Okay maybe I did a little, from embarrassment, when I had to buy some new new clothes to drive home in and I forgot that California doesn't believe in vanity sizing because no one there ever eats anything and the clothes would fall off them if they weren't sized for Polly Pockets, so yeah, they were a little tight and I may have resembled a Vienna sausage more than I would have liked. Good thing it was dark.
Veni, Vidi, Vici!
Join me, won't you in Travelin' Oma's School Days Seminar
As a Post script:
~Blog about a trip that was a disaster:
This trip truly was a disaster, but even disasters have their high points.