What’s a word for vacation when you’re away with 5 kids 4 and under?  The word is defined as an extended period of leisure and recreation so that can’t be right.  There is no leisure with children.  There is no relaxing.  There’s a lot of fun, sure, but there’s also a lot of yelling and crying and freaking out and some more crying and threats.  But I don’t think we’d trade in our three days in Lancaster because there were a lot of laughs and memories made.  I truly love my cousins kids like they are my own.  I love watching them interact with each other and I love that my family and I parent in similar ways.  There’s no judging or being afraid to call your kid an idiot in front of each other, because we all know when kids are being idiots.  There was no stress between adults, we all know we’re in this together.  I also find that I have more patience with my cousins kids than I do my own daughter, so when one started flipping a shit at dinner (thrown chocolate milk, anyone?) I truly did not mind getting up from the table and walking around with him.  In fact, I loved the cuddles and his sweet little voice.

When we got home on Friday after eating 75 pounds of Hershey chocolate I was exhausted, but, even more so, I was melancholy.  I loved getting up and having all 11 of us be together and I missed them all.  We were missing some family this year too, so next year we’re looking into renting a house or getting suites so we can all be together at night (because we’ll be 16 and possibly more).  We are going to make sure we take a trip somewhere together every summer, so that our children grow up like we did.  How lucky am I to have the family that I do?  How lucky is Char?

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