I had to take a small break from vacation-packing to write a quick post.
We are heading off to Florida tomorrow. Technically, we’ll be in Seattle tomorrow and arrive in Florida on Tuesday.
G and I traveled with baby Eva to Florida, Nashville, and Arkansas when Eva was ten months old. We traveled on the plane again when Eva was four and Vincent three. We have since been back to Arkansas and Florida with Eva and Vincent…and also baby Valerie.
Today, as I helped my eight-year-old Eva, my (almost) seven-year-old Vincent, and two-year-old Valerie pack their bags, my mind started to drift.
While packing Valerie’s diapers, diaper cream, little swimmers, and disposable changing pads, I felt in a different world. Haven’t I been here before? At almost 47 and 40, shouldn’t G and I be past this particular stage by now?
So many of my friends have tweens. Teens. Their kids are middle-and-high school athletes. Graduating from eighth grade. Soccer champs. Dance stars. While I know many my age who have children in elementary school, most of my friends are certainly not still packing diapers, diaper powder, and wondering how to keep a two-year-old engaged for six hours on a plane.
I’m so grateful, though. I don’t want my little ones to grow up too fast. I waited so long for them to arrive. I recently discovered a note from my little Vincent yesterday. It read “I love Jen. From Vincent. Free Meal.” The “J” was backwards, and the note included a happy face. It made me smile and filled my heart with gratitude. That’s all I ever wanted; children, sweet notes, and unconditional love. How lucky I feel to have it still.
My children keep me young. They keep me busy, and keep me with purpose.
I cannot wait to leave town tomorrow. I’m excited to leave my state and my entire side of the country. Bags are packed, airplane activities for three children are sorted, and I am ready.
Diapers, diaper cream, sippy cups, and all.