I'm just going to say, maybe not. Not always. At least not the conventional kind of fun we like to think of. I do believe fun is made not had (one of my kids' least favorite "mom-tras"), but I have a hard time heeding my own advice sometimes. I've found that fun revolves around my expectations. And that, at times, zero (or negative) expectations may be appropriate.
It takes a lot of blood sweat and tears to adventure as a family and sometimes I feel like a crazy person for even attempting it! Planning for any sort of outing if you have kids is EXTRA. Extra everything. Whether I'm trying to find and fill up four Camelbaks with water and snacks and sunscreen and first aid kits, or trying to keep all four snorkel sets rinsed, separated, and not abandoned on a beach somewhere, it's exhausting. Don't even get me started on packing for a week for a family of six or planning for a never-content-to-be-in-his-car seat toddler, which seems to complicate everything tenfold.
I could drone on and on about why it's basically the worst. But that's just a pass for me. An excuse to bow out.
What I really want for my kids - and myself - is to help them make memories, forge relationships, and instill in them a love for all the places, people, foods, and culture this world has to offer.
So when my expectations shift from personal to communal, so does my enjoyment of the task. Even the preparation part. Because when all of my kids are talking about night snorkeling with the giant Manta Rays, or their first malasada, or how long it takes to climb a mountain but how fast it is to come down, I am filled with something so much more rewarding than a relaxing vacation. Being brave and adventurous with my kids - digging deep to find the extra energy to snorkel for just fifteen more minutes, or give a 30 lb. kid a piggyback ride, or order six different items from an unfamiliar menu just to be sure we "try it all" - is more than just fun! It's the kind of feeling I want to have all the time. And I'm realizing I will pay the price of preparation over and over again just to have it.
Narrator: This blog was thoughtfully written by Brooke Ewing. You can find her on Instagram @brookenorma.