Money has been really tight these days and I wasn’t planning on doing any fall road trips. They aren’t all that extravagant but it still adds up. So when the opportunity to do a photo shoot in Ann Arbor Michigan came up I jumped on it! We loaded the van up with kids, blankets, and camping supplies and we headed to Pontiac Lake for the weekend.
This was a trip I will never forget. I literally cried on the way back reminiscing the memories made and counting the years left of vacations while our kids are still kids.
For me, this is the sweet spot of motherhood. I believe every stage is beautiful, complex, difficult, messy, and wonderful at the same time. This season though is something that I have looked forward to for so long. Everyone is potty trained, no one is napping, and almost all of them actually contribute in some way to make mine and Jeremy’s jobs easier.
We officially have four kids (not babies or teens, just kids) and it such a joy.
Don’t get me wrong, sometimes I am afraid we are going to have a Cain and Abel situation with the amount of sibling rivalry that goes on. The struggle is very very real, but I still love that I can plan activities and they actually appreciate them.
I mentioned being on a budget, so the whole trip we went to parks and apple orchards which are all free activities. Simple as it may be, the kids loved it!
They didn’t want the camping to end (unlike me who felt I had reached my limit).
Everyday I would ask them their favorite part of the day and the answers would keep rolling in.
None of the kids feel like they are too old or too young to join in on the fun; that is why I consider it the sweet spot. It’s also cool that at this age they are probably going to remember this.
I look back at my childhood road trip memories fondly. For example I loved the license plate game so it thrills me that my kids enjoy it just as much as I did.
I also love that they spent hours in the woods working on their “HQ”. They came up with secret hand shakes to get in. They made booby traps and went on elaborate missions.
To me it’s everything that childhood should be and my little momma heart just soars when they play like this.
It’s funny that I have all these mushy nostalgic feelings about road trips and camping because it is a lot like childbirth. In the middle of it you swear you’ll never do it again, but when the painful memories subside you decide that it was in fact worth it.
I will always treasure those precious baby days when the kids were so tiny and cute. I also look forward to seeing my kids grow up into teens and adults that I can connect with on a whole new level. This though.
This space in between.
These years of adventure and collective discovery while they are kids, that is something I will never take for granted.