Thank goodness it’s over.
It’s not that I didn’t enjoy myself. I did. Probably too much. It’s just that I’m exhausted. I am so tired from the whirlwind of ‘unwinding’ that sitting at my computer, cleaning my house, and getting Kiddo ready for another year of school is amazingly – relaxing.
When did getting away from it all become so much work? I suppose when instead of getting away from It, I decided it was best to pack all of It and bring It with me. Then I do end up getting away from It because I leave bits of It behind all over the place.
In years past, the It left in a breadcrumb trail from Georgia to upstate New York and back has consisted of Kiddo’s favorite toys, a pair of shorts, contact lens fluid, WD-40 (don't ask), and too many hair ties to count. This is not even considering the things I meant to take and left at home by mistake. I return home to find It sitting in the middle of my bed, looking forlorn because It didn’t get to go on the journey and possibly be left in some exciting place, like beneath the nightstand at the Comfort Inn in Fredericksburg off I-95. No, It just sat at home, waiting to be cursed at upon my return because I just knew I packed It and searched everywhere for It during the entire trip.
This year however, I took all of It that I intended to. Every single piece of It. I took the makeup because around family it’s all about presentation for the first two days before I say, “Screw it. They know how awful I am under the paint.” I took thirty changes of clothes, including the designer dressy dress, because who knows when the Chippendale Dancers will show up en masse at the rez? A girl’s got to be prepared to make an ass out of herself in silk and sequins.
Then there was packing for Kiddo. All of his underwear went with us. All of It. Because he’s 8 years old and autistic with a sensitivity to those jetliner-loud hand dryers at the rest stops and McDonalds. This means he will refuse to visit a bathroom until the situation is at Defcon 5. I can’t say I blame him. Going to a public bathroom these days necessitates hearing protection, or you come out as deaf as if you’ve been to a Rammstein concert (pyro may or may not have accompanied this trip depending on what fast food slop you were eating just prior to your bathroom visit).
Plus Kiddo packs a busload of toys. Heaven forbid he not take two train sets, all 50 plush toys he owns, plus various other bits and pieces. Along our way, representatives of under-stocked Toys-R-Us locations wave beseechingly by the side of the road, begging for a portion of my son’s bounty.
There are snacks too. You can’t go on a car trip without snacks, right? So we have them. Healthy snacks abound, because Hubs and I are trying to stick to our diet until we reach our destination (at which point it’s a caloric free-for-all from which no one emerges unscathed). There are also some naughty snacks for Kiddo, who’s blood type is Sugar-Positive. The allure of my son’s vacation snacks sneaks up on us on stealthy little feet, slowly seducing us into having ‘just one nibble’, then ‘split a powdered donut with me?’. Much later on during the trip, say around Hour 2, all three of us are gobbling Gummi Worms, Pop Tarts, and Hostess Diabetic Coma Cakes. The healthy snacks come back home with us two weeks later.
I also take along a huge case for my computer, tablet, promo copies of books, and notes. Yes, I work during my vacation, especially since it’s a great way to pass the miles in the car. Otherwise, I would have to face meaningful interaction with my family. Eek.
This time around, I didn’t do all that bad on leaving It all behind. Only two things have left my life: my $60 electric toothbrush, which is now living in Pennsylvania and which I KNOW I had in my hand at one point during the repacking the overnight bag process. We parted company on my way up to New York. The second item to leave my realm of existence bid adieu on the way home, also in the black hole that apparently exists in Pennsylvania. This one made Hubs mad, as he swore up and down he did an exhaustive sweep of the room in Navy Seal gear to make sure no one got left behind.
Considering the huge amount of It I refuse to leave behind, this year’s losses were not too bad. I brought the kid home whole, and Hubs is not wandering some Ramada parking lot in North Carolina calling plaintively for me. I’d call it a successful vacation. Now I can relax, surrounded by It All, and recover just in time for the next trip.