We just returned from our vacation this afternoon and it was one of the best we’ve had yet. We’ve been going to the Palm Springs area every summer for the last 7 years. I always ask the kids if they want to go somewhere different but the say it would break tradition if we didn’t do our annual, end-of-summer trip to the desert, so off we went. We spent our days in the pool and went for ice cream every night, just like we always do. This time I cherished each moment more than ever. Just over a month ago we had made a trip to the desert but that ended up being the trip from hell. This time though, was perfect. Even though my husband tried to act casual and relaxed, I could tell he was watching my youngest son’s every move, his every breath…and quite frankly, so was I. I didn’t realize just how much until my son asked, “Momma, why do you keep looking at me like that?”. I just kissed him and told him I was trying to count all the new freckles on his cheeks and nose. He just sighed and rolled his eyes. “That’s impossible mamma”, he said and went back to whatever it was he was doing. When he would let out one of his big ‘ol belly laughs, I felt giddy at the sound and just reveled in the moment. When he would say good morning with that big smile of his to everyone he saw as we walked to the hotel restaurant for breakfast, my heart would swell and I again found myself hanging onto the moment, feeling so grateful that we were able to be there to share this vacation with him.
This evening I downloaded pictures from an inexpensive, little digital underwater camera that I had found on eBay for the boys to take on vacation. I took a few pictures with it but I wasn’t expecting anything great and had been sure that the pictures would not be of any quality, especially taken underwater. However, when I came across the above picture, my breath caught. It epitomized the whole vacation in that one picture. There was my son underwater holding his breath and not breathing by choice and not like on our last trip to the desert where a venilator had to breathe for him. Instead, he swam and played in the pool until dark, ‘practicing’ his swim moves so he could go to the Olympics and be like Michael Phelps, his favorite person in the whole world ever. I had been aprehensive about going back to same place again after our last trip but he had insisted, not wanting to break tradition. Seeing this picture and remembering all those little moments, I know we made the right choice to continue with our annual trip. Tonight when I tucked my son in, he wrapped his arms around my neck and in a sleepy voice said “Mamma, that was the best vacation ever!”. I couldn’t agree more.