Sunday, August 28, 2022

Leaving a List Behind (Day 240, Year 2)

Our entire morning consisted of Nicholas asking to do things:

  • Surf lessons
  • Surrey rental
  • Mini-golf
  • Shrivers Salt Water Taffy
  • Go to the OC Waterpark
  • Ride the rides at Gillians 
  • Ride more rides at Playland
  • Shopping for things that cost $25 but will be ground into the floor within 48 hours or broken by a neighbor child, whose intense play with said-thing is encouraged by Nicholas, so the breakage is really his fault. 
The constant asking was intensely stressful; especially because we had plans to cover several of these items and because we just wanted to relax without having a massive list to check off.  Today was our last full day and night in Ocean City. Tomorrow: Mike leaves super early to catch a plane; while the kids and I will refuse to leave until we are exhausted and have no where to sleep, so we will be resigned to return to the radius and our beds and pets and my mother, who will have left us several urgent notes about nothing important. 

In an effort to stop the harping and nagging of our 9 year old, we told him he could not ask for anything or risk a time out. 

He simply rephrased his "asks" and turned them into statements: "the rides at Gillians are always so fun!" and "Someday, I'll that amazing ball that costs $25." In turn, our son learned how to be passive aggressive and also how to use mantras. 

So, despite my intense desire to avoid parenting while on vacation, we had to do something; because now he was even more annoying. 

Luckily, I had some wisdom, courtesy of the amazing Jo, who was our tour guide on our April trip all over France. Everytime someone would feel a bit sad or openly sob about leaving Paris (Lily), Jo would say, "Oh, but you have to leave something behind! That makes sure you return!"

And I love this philsophy. It is much better than: "DO EVERYTHING NOW BECAUSE YOU WON'T EVER BE BACK BECAUSE YOU ARE GOING TO DIE AND OTHER HORRORS MAY BEFALL YOU BEFORE YOU DIE." 

It is a balance, friends, of filling all your days with all the adventures and then, leaving somethings behind. 

So, while we are not leaving much behind (and we will be back in OCNJ for the day on Friday), we are leaving some things (surf lessons, additonal rides, the water park, many, many $25 trash things) behind. We have a whole list for next summer. And I cannot wait for us to return and do this all again.

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