Often times wives get a little apprehensive when it comes to letting dad plan the family vacation. Women always think their attention to detail and specifics are better made for planning and packing. However, I think that I proved to my wife that this is not always the case. Did I forget some stuff that she would not have? Sure. Did I add somethings into the trip that she might have left out? Of course. Did she realize that all of these things are not the end of the world? She sure did.
The first trip that my wife gave me complete control in planning and executing was last year. Although apprehensive with giving me complete planning power, my wife really was a great sport. I decided to plan the perfect trip to the zoo. Up until the minute we left, my wife was asking me did I remember this, and did I pack that? I assured her, quite confidently, that I had everything under control; and that she should sit back, relax, and enjoy not having to stress about it all.
So, that morning I got up extra early to pack the car and bags (I did not see the need to pack days in advance as she always does). By 11 a.m. we were headed for the four hour trip to the zoo. Now, maybe I did not take into consideration that the kids would be hungry for lunch around this time, no big deal, we stopped at a restaurant for a few happy meals, and a little play time on the playground. Of course, by the time we left we had wasted another two hours, and it was pushing up on nap time. So, I thought that the kids could nap on the way, and by the time we got to the zoo they would be fully reinvigorated and ready to roll. Wrong. The kids did not fall asleep until about 30 minutes before our zoo arrival. Therefore, they did not get their complete nap, but I assured my wife that once inside the zoo they would be fine.
After we parked, what seems like a zillion miles away and headed out for the front gate, we found ourselves carrying two of the three girls. The kids were whining the entire time we were at the zoo. On top of the fact that their schedule had been completely turned upside down, and they were sleepy and cranky. I could see the look in my wife’s eyes, her sitting there thinking how much better this vacation would have gone if she had been in charge of the packing and scheduling.
Lucky for me, once we got inside the Butterfly exhibit, it is like the tranquility of the place takes over the children. Joeli immediately fixates her big eyes on an enormous yellow butterfly that has come to rest on her mom’s shoulder. Within ten minutes she is peacefully sleeping in my wife’s arms. Jaden has taken the bug catching net over to where a few other children are trying to catch the biggest and prettiest butterfly. She runs around for almost a full thirty minutes, before she collapses into my arms exhausted, and ready for his nap. As, we sat there, in the middle of the beautiful tranquility of the butterfly exhibit, holding two sleeping children; I turned to my wife and said, “See honey, this wasn’t so bad.” She gave me a half-hearted, exhausted smile followed by a chuckle and responded, “No, it wasn’t.”
This year, I’m trying again! This dad is going to plan one of the best vacations we have been on yet. I plan on taking my three youngest to San Deigo, Califonria for some sun and fun. And we might even try the zoo again.