10 lessons from vacation — part 2

Wednesday I gave you the first five of 10 lessons I learned while on vacation about life and family. Today I continue with the remaining five lessons.

My kiddo checking out the first fish she helped catch with my dad. After Poppy threw him back in, she proclaimed, "Let's catch him again." She's my girl!

6. I love fishing. I knew that, too.  (I’ve even blogged about it a bit!)  I’ve been fishing since I was a very young child.  I loved it then, and I love it now.  I’d always opt to go out on the boat and fish with my dad, grandpa and brother versus staying at home with my mom and grandma.  I love the quiet and stillness.  I love the thrill of reeling in a fish.  I love the time with those I love.  These days when I go fishing, I have a distinct hole in my heart that misses my grandpa who is now in heaven. But I have so many good memories to make me smile in spite of the grief.  I’m thankful for making new memories now with my daughter and continuing to make memories with my dad.  One of my best times this trip was after my parents came down for our final two days and my dad and I stayed on the lake while my mom and husband took the kiddo home and put her in bed.  It was dark, it was a bit chilly, it was peaceful and it was perfect.  We didn’t say all that much.  He gave me a few casting tips.  We talked about the animal noises we heard.  And it was really, really nice.

7. I love to read. I’ve known this since I was a child.  In fact, it wasn’t until I was in college that I even had a television in my bedroom.  I watched shows, but I’ve always preferred to read.  I am my mother’s daughter.  These days reading for something other than to my daughter or for work is hard to do.  Last week, I finished one book and got over halfway through another.  And I remembered that reading can relax me and rejuvenate me more than something electronic like the computer or television which I often turn to in the evenings when I’m too tired to do anything else.

8. It doesn’t take much for our family to have fun. We laughed a lot.  We shared good times and memories we won’t forget like giving my daughter “milk water” that made her think she was going to throw up.  Or Buckles tripping and almost hanging himself between a gap in the dock (funnier now than it was then!).  Or hearing my child mimic my husband feeding the fish tiny bread balls and saying, “Get your spicy meat-a-balls!”  We didn’t do a lot (well, any) sight-seeing.  We were only out on the boat one day and even then only for a few hours.  We didn’t do anything overly extravagant or out-of-the-ordinary, but we had a lot of fun just being together.  Of all the things we offered for her to do, my daughter most wanted to just hang out at the house with us and play games, color or swing.  She didn’t need lots of activities to keep her entertained.  She just wanted uninterrupted time with us.

9. I am so thankful for my family. I knew I was thankful for them before.  It didn’t take a vacation to make me thank God for my husband and daughter (and pooch!), but it reminded me of why I love them so much.  There were so many times that we were in the car singing and laughing or sitting at a table waiting for our food and making jokes that I just paused and thanked God for the blessing of them.  The best moments were on Mother’s Day when I told my daughter I was so thankful for her and to be her mother.  Her response: “I’m thankful for you, mommy.”  My heart swelled.  Another one happened a couple of days later when my husband was pushing her in the swing.  I went out to join them and put my arm around him.  The kiddo looked at us with a smile and said, “True love.”  We, of course, had to kiss after that, to which she piped: “True love’s kiss.”  And then there was sitting outside at Dairy Queen eating an ice-cream with my husband on a surprise after-the-kiddo’s-bedtime date that we were able to do the night my parents arrived.  It wasn’t fancy.  We didn’t have deep conversations, but we laughed and smiled and had fun.  It was a good reminder of why I love that man.  So many sweet, precious moments.  Being on vacation without other things to deal with gave me time to recognize and appreciate them even more.

My big girl heading out on the lake to fish for the first time from the boat.

10. My toddler is growing up. Maybe I harp on this a lot.  But, time really does fly and kids really do grow too fast.  On vacation, I noticed how much older my daughter seems these days.  I noticed how much more flexible she is now than the last time we were there in November 2010.  She’s down to one nap a day at most (and many times just quiet time suffices).  She can stay up later sometimes and not completely meltdown.  She can do almost all the activities that we enjoy like feeding the ducks, fishing, walking on the dock, riding in the boat and even riding in the car for such a long time.  She understands us.  We understand her.  She is completely her own little person who often surprises me, always makes me proud and many times makes me laugh.  She is so much fun as I’m able to see the world through her eyes.  I mentioned this to my dad on our fishing trip.  He told me our fun is only beginning.  I don’t know how it will get better than this, but I’m glad to be on the journey headed there!


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