We just got back from an amazing trip that took us to another part of the world that is close to paradise as I could ever imagine. The beaches were covered with white sand and the water was crystal clear. For one week we lived the high life.
And yet interestingly enough, when I look back at my most enjoyable experiences, I can’t help but notice that each one of them could’ve have taken place without us even leaving home.
I am not quite certain what this means, but by the end of this post I will have figured it out.
The Pirate Ship
At the resort where we stayed there was a little pirate ship playground. My son could’ve have literally spent his entire day there. He was the captain and he would steer the ship as if he was being chased by the Spanish Armada. Watching him completely immerse himself in this make-believe world was captivating and brought me more joy than anything that he and I did our whole time on vacation.
We have a playground set at home that, while not as big as the one at the resort, can serve as a pirate ship on any given day when we go out back to play.
Ping Pong Rallies
Several days when my son would take his nap my daughter and I would get to steal some quality time together. We tried several different activities, but I think she would agree that ping-pong was our favorite. Each time we hit we would try to break our own personal rally record. We were quite proud when we reached 15 simply because we had been stuck on 3 for so long. While hitting was fun, what I most enjoyed was getting to spend some one on one time with my girl.
My in-laws have a ping-pong table in their basement and yet my daughter and I had never played together before until our trip overseas.
These Goofballs Adore Each Other
Don’t get me wrong, my two kids argue and fight and fuss with each other quite a bit. My wife and I often have to play the dual role of referee and parent. But when all is said and done we know that these two kids absolutely adore each other. Just look at the photos above. While they had their share of squabbles on the trip, they paled in comparison to the sheer moments of joy they had just being silly together. We had a front row seat to this amazing show and it was well worth the price of admission. Without a doubt the most fun my wife and I had together was just sitting back and watching the bond between our children grow stronger and stronger.
My kids are each other’s best friends and my wife and I get to watch them play together everyday. There is not a day that goes by that they don’t reach the point of pure giddiness over something like passing gas or shaking their backsides. And there is not a day that goes by that the bond between them doesn’t grow stronger.
So What Does All Of This Mean?
We went halfway across the world, spent a decent amount of money and the most memorable moments were ones that could’ve taken without even leaving home?
I think it is clear to me taking vacations allows us to eliminate many of the distractions that the hustle and bustle of our lives bring. They allow us to peel away the outer layers that sometimes fool us into thinking they are important, and when we do finally peel away these outer layers we are able to really get to the core of what matters most.
For me it was
taking the time to really watch my son use his imagination,
spending quality one on one time with my daughter and
sitting with my wife and feeling proud of the bond we’ve helped create between our two children.
What’s awesome was that this trip has reminded me to do as Stephen Covey suggested and “put first things first.”
Don’t get me wrong. This doesn’t mean that my days of taking awesome trips are over. It simply means that I’m going to get better at appreciating the beauty that life affords me each and everyday because
Everyday I can stop and really watch my son be a pirate.
Everyday I can carve out some quality one on one time with my daughter.
And everyday I can sit with my wife and watch our kids grow closer.