Just like at home, when we're away, the 'busy work' of parenting is how most of our time is spent, and I dare say, maybe even a little bit more than at home. Cleaning up from one meal just in time to begin another. After someone's scrape, searching and scouring the bags for the calendula and band aids I was so sure I packed. Making sure that everyone gets to have their special kayak cruise, tractor ride, fishing at the dock, or whatever it may be. Distilling arguments, and trying to help solve the challenges of sibling life. Picking up bathing suits and towels from the pine needle-lined ground where they're about to be covered in sap, and placing them on the line for the next swim, at which I'll hear, "Mom! Where's my....?"
And then, just like at home, and maybe even more than at home, there are the in between, rare, precious and treasured moments of still. Sitting by the campfire one early evening, I could hear two of my loved ones voices echo from the other side of the lake, as they slowly made their way back from a little after-dinner canoe journey. Their voices were soft, but in the stillness of the woods, I could hear them. My dreamer was laying in the hammock on his back, looking up and looking out. Sitting, thinking, dreaming. And my baby - not much of a baby these days as she babbles away - sat beside me talking and singing and talking and singing, telling me all that was on her mind, as she continued her work of lining up the pine cones on the logs around her. The setting sun in the woods made everything glow orange - unlike anything I see at home just a few hours south - and I just listened. And marveled at the beauty we are all so blessed to live amidst - together.
And those little moments? The moments where the ever-fleeting time stands still for us for a bit amidst the unfamiliar, the new, the out-of-the everyday living that we do? Well, they're some of the very moments that make the long hours in the car with kids, the days worth of packing, the many more days spent unpacking, the extra money, the extra effort, the extra time to get away - even for a few days - all worth it. All so very worth it, indeed.