I’m standing outside with my daughter, talking to her about a fountain spraying. The wife is changing my son’s diaper in the passenger side of the rental so we can go in and get breakfast. A man walks out of the restaurant towards us…or more towards his car, which is parked to spots next to us. “If you keep having kids as cute as that one, you’re doing something right!” he says to me. I smile and say thanks as he gets in his car, presumably to head off to work. He looks again and sees my wife and son, and is compelled to give some encouragement – “I know it seems crazy now, but but its so worth it. Cherish this age because they grow up so fast.” I engage and have some small talk about his older kids and such and say by.
Before he leaves, he is pressed to add one more thing. “Let me just say this, you can buy your kids so many things. But the best thing you can do for them is love your wife. You can buy them cars and houses, but the most important thing is that they see you love her.” In my mind I shouted “Amen!”, though audibly it was more like “That is so true.” We bid farewell and I thought – these Carolina folk are good people.
Some people might find a great deal on a weekend trip and immediately book their flight and head out the next day. We are not those people. Shortly after my son was born (July 2014), we started to map out the best time we think it would be to travel – when will he be decent on a flight, when will the weather still be bad enough at home that an escape will be worth it. So we planned a a trip to Myrtle Beach for when all the signs pointed to the ‘best time.’ Little did we know that two days before our trip our son would come down with an ear infection, and midway through the trip our daughter would start having fevers, that in turn will turn into an ear infection after returning. At least it was still freezing and raining in Chicago when we left, so we had the weather working in our favor.
Despite things not falling perfectly in place according to our plans, it was a great time for us to get away as a family finally. There are so many schedules and events and other obligations that fill up our calendar, so sometimes we just need to leave the state in order to get chunks of time together, and it was refreshing. I am even more thankful that my kids don’t require a lot to be entertained…the daughter was more than willing to spend 90% of her time standing on the shoreline and occasionally building sand castles, while the son was satisfied playing with tupperware lids. Good times, indeed.
So there it went, our trip for 2015. Myrtle Beach, you were fun. But, Chicago, we’re back. Let’s do have some good times in the 2nd half of 2015.