Thursday, January 21, 2010

when things go wrong

Here’s a paradox: some of our happiest memories as a family are created when things go wrong. Is this true for you too?

Thankfully, we didn’t have any big problems on our recent trip to Disney…just the typical “stuff” that happens when you’re traveling. Here are a few of the highlights that we’re still laughing about:

Chicken. All I have to do is ask Twin A. if he wants some chicken and he busts up laughing. We were eating at Paradise Pier one night, and he ordered a “toddler” serving of macaroni and cheese—the only size they sold—and when he opened the box, there was a condiment-sized cup of macaroni in it. Like, three bites. Not even enough for our toddler.

We laughed, and the two of us walked over to the Chinese stand, where he ordered teriyake chicken and rice. The cashier asked if he wanted an adult portion or a child’s portion, and we wisely asked to see the difference in size. When the cashier held up a teeny tiny white box, A. started giggling. “The adult portion, please,” I said before busting out laughing. The two of us stood there and laughed until tears came out of our eyes.

And then—the story gets better—the chicken was really gross.

He ended up having some of the rice for dinner, and then eating a bowl of cereal back in the hotel room.

Did we pay a small fortune for strange food that never actually got eaten? Yes. But, oh the memory. We still laugh every time we hear the word, “chicken.”

And then there was Legoland in the rain. We bought bright yellow ponchos and celebrated that there were no lines for the rides. The boys huddled under a table at lunchtime and we all laughed at the absurdity of staying at the park in the rain. But we stayed and we laughed and we had a great day together.

Planning is an important part of vacationing with young children, but just as important, I believe, is the ability to be flexible. Things happen when you travel that you have absolutely no control of, and it’s important to be able to take them in stride.

Can you make the best of things and laugh together as a family when things don’t go according to plan? These are the stories your children will love to tell—the “remember when…” stories. They’ll remember the good times too, but the hard stuff—the time you ran out of clean underwear and had to wash it out in the sink—that’s what memories are made of.


Sues said...

This is SOOO TRUE! One of our best family vacays growing up was supposed to be a single overnight in the mountains that turned into a 4-day trip b/c our car broke down on the first day as we arrived at the top of the mountain. My dad cussed up a storm, and my brother & I were surely obnoxious waiting all day for them to tell us which part needed replacing... But we ended up getting to stay longer, in a cool hotel, and we just had a ball. To this day, whenever we drive up in the NC mountains (and we do at least once a year to take the kids to Tweetsie Railroad - ) my mom & I both laugh & point out the driveway we broke down in!

Sarah said...

We have many of those stories from our most recent trip last summer. We're able to laugh about most of them now. I guess they made an impression, because #1 is doing a lot of research about hotels for our upcoming trip.

Marmot Mom said...

No doubt, Llama Momma! The serendipity is always the best part of the trip! We have SO many weird vacation memories and one of just needs to say one word to get us all laughing all over again...