I’m dating myself, but the GoGos were one of my favorite 80s girl bands. That being the case, it’s no surprise to me that I’ve been singing my own modified lyrics to one of their hits for the last few days: Staycation all I ever wanted, staycation happy to get away.
This week my children returned to school from Spring Break. Since I’m divorced, their father and I alternate years having them. As happy as I was that I got them this time around, my enthusiasm was tempered by the fact that other than Good Friday when my agency was closed and the day after Easter Sunday, which I took off, I had to work the entire time. Talk about working mommy guilt. A ton of it weighed heavily on me on and off for those ten precious days.
But they were precious, so as best as I could, I tried to lay that baggage down and truly enjoy our time together. Ever since the divorce, my daughter, son and I have been The Three Musketeers. And though I’m remarried and have three teen-through-young-adult stepsons – plus a twenty-two year old “adopted” son who lives with us – because of the difference in ages and interests the three of us still do a lot separate from the rest of our family.
As I think back on our time together, one of the things that made our staycation special was a trip to the library to pick “just right books.” I later found my son, who has always struggled with reading, sitting on his bed engrossed in a book. Writing on eggs with wax crayon before dying them and then watching the name “Jesus” appear on one of Liv’s touched my heart because she’s embracing her own faith. Then hearing her play guitar and lead our family in worship for the first time, even though she fights me about practicing, made me cry. Playing three-way Battleship showed me that Levi’s winning his war with math and is developing more numbers sense. And when he got out of the pool at CoCo Keys twice and asked me to read him one of those library books, I realized my dream of raising book worms may become a reality after all.
We spent our last day at Newport Aquarium and my children’s knowledge blew me away. They know more about marine life than I ever will. Reluctant to spend even more money at the gift shop, how could I resist hearing Liv say, “We don’t need anything, Mommy. You’ve already spent a fortune over Spring Break”? I bought them each exactly what they wanted and was rewarded when we walked down to the river and they played creatively in the sand with the baby penguin and sting ray they’d selected.
Back at home, they set up school with blocks and all of their aquatic stuffed animals. As I walked by, I heard them singing: Staycation, all I ever wanted…
And it really was. Our staycation allowed me to get away with my children so I could see how all the things I hope and dream for them, all the things I’ve ever wanted for them, are coming to pass.