We were gone for two weeks and I longed for quality family time. I actually ached for it. If you ask my husband, he’d probably tell you that I was practically depressed just before our trip. If you ask me, the reasoning would be that I needed quality family time together. I needed to get away from chores, homeschooling, bills, the phone, EVERYTHING– and spend serious time watching kids be kids and holding my husband’s hand (for every available second of the day). I needed to fall in love with family time [again]. Shoot- I just needed to HAVE family time for more than a meal’s length.
I don’t know about you, but I repeatedly need to fall in love with my family. That might seem odd. But I don’t mean it to be a deep philosophical statement. I’m so type A that lists, order, cleanliness, etc. can consume my day that fun can often be left out…unless I schedule it (kidding- ok, maybe not kidding as much as I should be). And two weeks of time together was a spoiling of love. A blessing. And love is work. It’s not just a warm fuzzy feeling near the center of your body. It takes effort and intentionality. So off we went and spent two weeks to do nothing but have fun and love each other.
But in no less than an hour after landing in the sunny state of Florida did the “fun plans” turn into illness. Our son suddenly ripped his shoe off and started crying. We couldn’t see anything really wrong with his foot so we attempted to put on the shoe. Crying. Screaming.
We thought perhaps a twisted ankle. Couldn’t be a break though- he didn’t do anything but walk in a straight line on a flat walkway.
Luckily we had two strollers with us (he’s 2 and baby girl is 1) so in he went and all seemed okay. By evening though, he still couldn’t stand a shoe and now he couldn’t stand on his foot at all. No walking. Grumpy boy.
I worry. –and if you don’t know this already, our family has seen the inside of an ER too many times. We’ve also been the guest of the children’s hospital too many times. So, I’m 2,000 miles from home and our son can’t walk. I pray for a better tomorrow.
We’re in Disney World. It’s fun. Pleeeeease be fun. No drama.
But the next day was worse. Now our little man has a swollen ankle, redness surrounding from ankle to ankle with a puffy, but old, blister on the back of his foot. And if you’re connecting the dots faster than I did you probably guessed that the blister was infected. So off to the first aid station we went and at one peek they said “no can do- take him to the ER.”. What???? I’m in Disney World with 4 kids! The ER!
Off we went to the ER (and Disney makes it super easy to get there, just an FYI) and turns out he had blood poisoning from the 2 week old blister. By the time we got the the ER the leg was red from mid calf to heel and he was totally lethargic. (all I could think about was Peeta in the Hunger Games!-ahh) So thankful for modern medicine because after the procedure to remove the abcess (oh, did I forget to mention the blister turned to an abcess) they gave our little man a shot and antibiotics. In less than 24 hours he was able to stand on his foot AND ENJOY MICKEY MOUSE!
Back to the loving. Back to spending quality family time. Back to falling in love again.
Respite in the most chaotic sense is what Disney was for our family. We walked so much that even my weekly exercise regimen was not enough to block sore muscles.
We spent two days in each park (on average) and enjoyed the meal plan option for DW. It was a great way to see characters. We rarely waited in any lines for autographs because the characters came to our table each and every day!!! Let me tell you, the princesses were amazing. The “animated” characters were truly playful. It was surreal for our kids and the grown ups got a giggle out of things like big Pluto’s kisses and Chip’s antics.
And speaking of the meal plan— the food was great. More food was consumed than I care to remember and I’m thankful for all the walking because it was kind of obscene at dinner time….bottomless plates. Wow. Desserts, bread, pasta. And you could eat them in that order too!
But at the week’s end, we still had another week together near the gulf coast. So sweet. More family time. Pool time. Bike time. Beach time. And we even found a shark tooth on the beach. By the end of two weeks I actually longed to get home. Not to the busy-ness of life but to the comforts of our life at home. Like my shower with full sized shampoo and conditioner. My books. The kids books. Our church. Our friends. Our garden and playground. All the things familiar to our family reality.
Sometimes escaping is so necessary. Sometimes it gives us that little piece of appreciation for our everyday life in addition to the quality time loving on each other. It was a lovely little addition.
I’m refreshed. <insert sigh of peace and contentment>