The Not-So-Picture-Perfect Truth of Our Family Vacation

Family Vacation - Making Memories

We’re back from a wet & wild family vacation – emphasis on wild. We took a bunch of super-smiley photos (“Look at the camera. Right here! Up here! Now smile! No, a real smile!”). We really did love the pools, the water slides, the resort, the weather, the together time…but I have a feeling the memories that will last longest – the ones we’ll be talking about even when the kids are grown – are the ones that didn’t get photographed.

Because nobody thinks to grab a camera in the middle of total freaking chaos. 

Like when the five-year-old has the biggest diaper blow-out ever known to humankind. (Side note: did you know there are actually experts on autism and pooping? Yep. I’ve read their stuff, attended workshops, tried different strategies but we’re still changing diapers. Sigh.). When we walked into the beautiful, relaxing resort condo, I nearly peed my pants with delight. Tru, on the other hand, pooped his – and then announced it was “coming out.” My superhero hubby offered to change him – on the gorgeous bed with a towel beneath him. And thank God for that innocent, fluffy white bath towel; it did not survive the explosion, nor did Tru’s pants. In fact, I’m surprised Brad did. But there are (thankfully) no photos of the Day One poop storm.

We also don’t have a photo of the balcony screen door that Ryder’s entire 10-year-old body catapulted through when he tripped on the door threshold. How, people? How do these things happen!? We had already told Tru a dozen times not to touch/poke/lean on/punch the screen – and then his big brother managed to fly through it with such velocity that he ripped the entire screen, top to bottom, right off the door. The kid was fine, save for some parental shouting in the heat of panic. I practically crawled down to the front desk, told them we were guests of the condo owner and were so, so sorry but we’d just busted the balcony screen. Miraculously, they acted like ours was not the first 10-year-old to go screen diving and they replaced the door (yes, the whole damn door) without charging us a penny.

I also failed to capture charming photos of Tru’s flesh wound from a waterpark ladder…or the fatigue caused by sharing a bed with a kid who kicks in his sleep…or the late night smoothie explosion in our three-month-old minivan (at least it smells like strawberry now). But all those things were the very things we laughed so hard about on the long drive home, tears streaming down our faces as we recounted all the mini disasters we survived together.

And despite all the speed bumps, we’d do it all over again. I mean, not that we could…since none of us actually owns a bathing suit anymore. Uh-huh, that’s right. We all managed to leave our suits behind at the resort. It’s too bad because after all that, I could really use a vacation.