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Vacation tale: Sand in my flipflop

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What would summer be without a little vacation. Mothers & More member Melissa Riske shares her own vacation story. 

Sand is still stuck to my flip flop and there’s a pile of laundry that needs to be washed and put away. Technically vacation ended a few days ago, but my mind is still thinking about the waves and the kids running to the edge of the water and back, careful to look for cool sea shells along the way.

I should be focused on the deadlines, the in-box of emails still waiting to be answered and getting the kids back to a more normal routine of eating and sleeping.  Instead I find myself flipping through photos on my phone.

But I suppose that’s the sign of good vacation– the kind that truly takes your mind off things for a while and lets you enjoy your family, good food and the chance to explore uncharted territory.

It’s hard not to romanticize a life more permanent in a beach town. Being able to walk to the edge of the sand and enjoy breezy summer days. Over and over my husband would turn to me and say, “Wouldn’t it be great to live here?” We’d walk through the beach town and fantasize about which beach house we’d want, or debate the merits of a beach house versus a beach condo. It was fun to play pretend.

It’s hard not to love it when my children who rise with the morning sun slept in until nearly 8 a.m. every morning (exhaustion + amazing blackout curtains=sleep for mom and dad).

Living outside a major metropolis, our local news seems to devote the first 10 minutes to crime, tragedy, poverty and corruption and I find myself cringing as my nearly five-year-old asks why they are talking about shooting as I fumble for the remote to change to kid-friendly PBS. In this small beach town, even with local news from a sizeable city, stories talked about boating safety, sunny weather and local farming. Life seemed to move at a slower pace and we soaked it all up.

Yes, it is a good vacation when we can unwind, soak up some sun and enjoy family dinners that don’t require my prep or clean up.

At home my children have a plethora of toys that seem to seep from their cube containers and become strewn about the house in a daily ritual. Away from home for a few days they were content to play with the several toys in a freezer bag back at the hotel room and digging in the endless sand at the beach. It’s as though they too unwind from their routines.

There are seashells to wash out. There is a suitcase still waiting to be stuffed back in the closet and suntan lines on my back. There’s still some sand in my flipflop and the beauty of the sun over the ocean playing as a scene in my mind. There’s a photo of my boys grinning as they chase the surf and the relaxed look on my hubby’s face. There is the daydream of someday and the reality of knowing we’ll be back again for more adventures.

Melissa Riske is a member of the DuPage, Ill., chapter of Mothers & More. She is a mom of  two active young boys that love the beach and a freelance writer. She and her husband are daydreaming about abandoning the suburbs for a home near a beach in North Carolina. 

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