Years ago, my dad (and mom) and I (and Londo) decided to buy a timeshare at a nearby beach from a family friend. It is a duplex with a deck overlooking the 9th green of a golf course, and has 3 bedroom, 2 bath, a kitchen open to dining area and family room. We would have it for one week and the end of May/beginning of June every year. It was a good size for us and our plans to grow the family. It was a set week every year, so that my dad and I could plan on our vacations way in advance.
This worked out perfect for me and my dad. I didn't have to worry about finding a place at the beach and coordinating the week and location and price and everything else, because it was already taken care of. It had access to a parking lot right on the beach with a clubhouse that included a bathroom and cafe. It was right on the golf green, and an easy walk to the golf course's clubhouse. There were lots of amenities that both my dad and I were very happy with.
Though it wasn't a good time of year for either my mom or for Londo, my dad and I have gone every single year since we got it, except the one when I was due any day with the Pookie (my dad went with my SIL and her twins).
In fact, the fertility cycle which we got pregnant with the Pumpkin was while I was at the timeshare. I did the 2.5 drive back and forth for two appointments and gave myself shots while at the beach house. The year after having the Pumpkin, we brought her to the beach house at 3 months old--her first beach experience. A couple years we had friends and/or family stay with us with their kids.
I love the place. I love the specific time set aside to go to the beach. I love hanging out with my dad and mom. I love bringing the kids, even though it's difficult to get them to sleep and the place isn't really kid-proofed. I love that it feels like a family vacation place.
But this year, I had to re-think the family vacation I had been planning all year. I had to re-think a lot of plans I had for May and June, which my half-organized closet can attest to.
This year, there was no way I could take the kids for any of the vacation as the only parent with my torn meniscus. My parents a great help, but I literally would not have been able to do any parenting of the kids. And this was their vacation, too, and it wouldn't have been fair to ask them to watch my kids and wait on me all week.
Londo and I had a big discussion about it. The beach is not his ideal vacation, and he didn't exactly relish the idea of spending his vacation days from work chasing both kids around in the hot sun with sand getting everywhere then going back to a place that wasn't kid-proofed. He would much rather stay home with the kids, where they would continue going to school during the day so he could work and where everything was set up to meet their needs at home. But he told me I should go with my parents.
In fact, he pretty much insisted on it. Saying it would actually be easier for him, because he wouldn't have to take care of me in addition to the kids! The vacation was between the time I had the MRI and my appointment with the orthopedic surgeon, so I was free to go.
So I went. Sounds fantastic, right? Almost a full week at the beach without the kids and with my parents taking care of me!
The problem was, that was not the vacation I planned. It was not the vacation I wanted. It was not the annual family vacation that it was supposed to be. Stupid meniscus.
All I could see on the drive and at the beach and everywhere I went were the adorable kids. Moms were everywhere, and most of them seemed to have kids right around my kids' ages. As I hobbled around with my cane, I watched the kids longingly. When I was back at the house, I remembered how cute my kids were at the table there and playing in the family room. At the beach, all I could think about was how the kids played in the waves and dug in the sand the year before, and how I had envisioned taking them again this year. Heck, I even reread my own poem about it! It was tough, believe it or not.
I must admit, I did have a wonderful time. Just because it was not the vacation I planned, doesn't mean that it wasn't a good vacation. I actually spent the first couple days with two of my best friends from junior high, who also happened to be at the beach that same weekend. My parents really took wonderful care of me, making sure I didn't push myself and hurt my knee worse. Best of all? I actually got to lay down on the beach, read and worship the sun like I haven't been able to since having kids. I was even able to dig a hole just right for my knee so I could lie on my stomach.
The only reason I was even okay going without my kids and husband is because, as Londo pointed out, my parent now own a house 2 miles from a beach just a town up from the one where the timeshare is. He promised we'd take our family vacation for a week in August at my parent's house, when the kids were on summer break and my knee was healed up. After a bit of talking, I realized that this was the better plan for the family vacation.
I had thought I would go to my parent's beach house just about every weekend, from May through September. The torn meniscus changed my plans, and I've had to re-think my entire summer. I am glad that I got to go to the beach in June, and I'm looking forward to the family vacation in August.
And now my recovery from the surgery and the physical therapy I will be doing is of even more importance to me. If they go well, and quickly, I believe that my weekend plans in July will involve a lot of trips to my parent's beach house with the kids, and hopefully without Londo since goodness knows he needs and deserves a lot of time for himself as soon as I possibly can give it to him!
Originally, I had figured I would go to my parent's beach house without kids a couple of weekends in July or August. I was not ready for that time in June when I hadn't even gotten to take the kids to the beach by myself even once. I didn't need the time away from the kids I had barely been able to play with or put to bed for weeks. But that's how it worked out. Now, I can't wait to spend my weekends with my kids, at the beach and at home, with two working knees.