It’s All Worth it if the Kids are Having Fun

This week I have been thinking a lot about summer vacations when I was a kid. My parents really went above and beyond to ensure we did fun things, but I am not sure if we as kid really understood the sacrifice that went into those vacations. So here are 5 things that I am grateful to my parents for as an adult.

  1. Camping: We camped a lot as kids and one trip I remember in particular had all of us kids throwing up in the tent one night. It wasn’t the most pleasant experience and it required a deep cleaning the next morning and a trip into town with sleeping bags to the local laundromat. But I don’t remember my parents complaining and later that day we continued on camping like nothing had happened.
  2. Disneyland: Seriously need to give a HUGE shout out to my parents for being willing to plunk down the cash for this exorbitantly priced theme park. Make no mistake; we LOVE Disneyland but the amount of money it takes to get in, purchase food, and a memento to take home at the end of the day is a little on the ridiculous side of spending.
  3. Beach Trips: Yes, we could just show up at the beach with a towel and call it good. In fact, that is how I do the beach as an adult but my parents were too nice and they thought of and brought everything. We would lug down to the water a cooler with food and drinks, blankets to sit on when our towels were wet, shade in the form of an umbrella or canopy so we could stay ALL day, plus toys to play with in the sand when we were worn out from the surf. I realized my dad was a pretty strong “pack horse” after these excursions.
  4. National Parks: I grew up in Southern California and was very fortunate to live near some national parks but there were MANY summers that we spent in Yellowstone and the Grand Tetons. That required a 16 hour drive each way and many hotel reservations not to mention all of the reservations my parents had to make when in the parks to ensure we had places to stay or camp. Then there were the reservations for outdoor recreational activities like renting boats and horses. (Please keep in mind that my first real memory of this kind of trip was when I was 9—I am the oldest of 4 kids). I think my parents are pretty much superheroes.
  5. Weekend Getaways: Yes, my father and mother would work 12-16 hours day for 5 days, drive home, load up the car (including the family) and then drive that night so we could spend a 3 day weekend in some awesome city like San Francisco. I am here to tell you that as an adult, I really dread leaving for trips when I have been crazy busy at work all week.

Make sure you thank your parents if you have spent any summer doing something fun without much thought to the time and resources it took for them to provide the entertainment.