Why expectations are everything
Over July 4th week I took my two-year-old on a relaxing family vacation to the lake. I slept in, read a book, drank my coffee while it was hot, and had lots of privacy in the bathroom. HAHA JUST KIDDING I DID NONE OF THESE THINGS!
No, instead I woke up daily at 5am to tiny fingers prying open my eyes. I spent my waking hours applying layer upon layer of sunscreen and bug spray to my child. I wrangled him in and out of swimsuits, on and off of boats, and shuttled him to various playgrounds. I soothed tantrums, kissed boo boos, and handed out enough snacks to solve world hunger. I imparted life lessons about the importance of sharing toys with your cousin and not, under any circumstances, biting her. I showered exactly twice and went to the bathroom without an audience once.
It was an amazing week. Truly, it was.
It was amazing because I went into it with the right expectations. I didn’t expect to relax. I didn’t expect to get much sleep. I didn’t expect to eat a meal without a toddler on my lap, read a book on the dock, or think any deep thoughts. This was not that trip and I knew that going in.
It was not about relaxation, it was about making memories--for my son and all the rest of our extended family who had made the trip so we could all be together.
The sand in the bedsheets, the 5am wakeup calls, the crowded house and nonstop family togetherness—it was all exactly as I had envisioned. My son’s face as he jumped off the dock into the water for the millionth time? Exactly as I envisioned. His grandparents’ faces as he cuddled on their laps for story time? Those too.
It was a trip that was 100% not about me, and honestly that was really good for me. It’s amazing what’s possible when we adjust our expectations.
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