Gin & Zin

Summer of the Suitcase

This summer, we’ve decided to camp more than ever before,  basking in mother nature and the bounty she provides. It is a supremely awesome and unexpected part of my adult life I am beyond happy about, proud of, and grateful for this opportunity to take time with my family and friends.

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sand mountain, NV

But my kids really suck at traveling. Are you with me? I’m not just talking about ARE WE THERE YET? (That does totally happen, on our road, actually!) But, you know, when you have an idea about a trip and then it goes south for some reason- someone gets sick, or someone is grumpy or afraid of Ursula the sea witch at Disney after you paid all that money?

Let me rephrase that…about 90% of the time my kids are awesome travelers. They like sticks and dirt and many times we don’t bring more than a few toys and books. Even in the car we go hours without technology. But that other 10%, the sleeping part, they both STINK.

I have said a few times lately, just because we do it often doesn’t mean it isn’t effortless. That’s kinda like life and showing up, right? It is always worth it but it can be exhausting. Having peace with that is easier than resisting it. Wait.. another letting go post by Zin?!

In our life it is sleep that suffers. And my kids are 2.5 and 6. It is in their DNA to be deficient in sleeping skills I guess. We camp 4-6 times per year and travel other places as well. They get practice at sleeping at other places. At least once per month we are going somewhere.

But. They. SUCK! I am hiding on the other end of the trailer right now from my daughter who is going back and forth between yelling “MOMMMMYYYYYY”…. tears…. “I wanna wake up!” ….fake tears…..  then singing “tinkle, tinkle little stars”. Mind you this is at her normal nap time, in a dark, air conditioned trailer. It’s a damn good situation. The tinkle little stars are aligned for her. But she can’t handle the routine change. Or just wants to party. One of the two. At least she has nap figured out at home. Cheers to that!

On the way to our location yesterday my daughter fought (and won) the fight to fall asleep in the car. After we got here and set up camp, we hiked, biked, AND swam, and she still fought bedtime 30 minutes past her normal time. Fought it for almost an hour.

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Yet we keep booking weekend trips, somehow. The coffee is strong and happy hour may start around 3pm but somehow it IS worth it. The packing, the prepping, the whining children, and the lack of sleep is a lot of work. But wait! We are off work for 4 days! We are truly playing hard after working hard. That has become our lifestyle, and I didn’t forsee that coming!

So after planning, prepping, and packing, working, etc, we now know that we will spend just as much time trying to get the children to sleep as they actually end up being asleep! You ask me what my least favorite part of the day is with kids? Anything related to bedtime. It’s like they conspire to fight, to need something else, almost like the desire to keep on taking on the world is just too strong for them to ignore. That is beautiful but so exhausting. I mean how much MOMMMMY mixed in with ABC’s and fake tears can one take? I am apparently running an underfunded research study to prove to y’all how much one can take on how little sleep. It isn’t pretty. I know I am not alone.

The desert sage and the setting sun and the 70 degree nights and the happy husbands and the adventuring kids and the outdoor bbq and the new friends and the dirt playing and the not packing up and driving somewhere and the trail runs and the exploring and the swimming is pretty much WORTH IT. Time and time again. It is. Even if I complain about the kids not sleeping.

So yes, us dummies will keep traveling. And this hour of writing was spent debating another way to approach nap times and bedtimes when we travel, another essential oil blend to use, another way to bring relaxation to trips with kids. (HAHAHAHA! But one has to try!) Until I have it figured out we will continue to be tired dummies repeating the same behaviors again and again until we learn how to approach it differently.

I’m reading a book called Present Over Perfect, and a recent quote rang true to me in regards to traveling: “Part of the magic of the lake is that it isn’t home–it’s away, and away allows us to see the rhythms and dimensions of our lives more clearly. . . So it doesn’t necessarily work for us to live here at the lake, but I do want the way of living that I’ve tasted here to inform and ground how I live everywhere, all year long.”

Yes, sister! Get that goodie here:

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family photo taken with timer on a rock. blurry and apparently I’m dumping water out but there we are at Walker River RV resort, NV this summer.

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But oh that sky. And the memories. Worth it. Worth every single lost z, wrinkle, and grey hair. Totes worth it.

2 thoughts on “Summer of the Suitcase

  1. Ah this post made my heart sign. My most cherished memories of my childhood have to do with trail rides, lake showers, dirty feet and simple outdoors thanks to my sleep deprived parents. Camp life is the best life. You and Chris are doing it right!! XO

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