You know how you plan the big summer vacation to go to the beach for a week to relax, catch up on reading, reconnect with your children, walk on the beach with your husband and have some quality family time. But as the date approaches somehow your children sense your secret desire for a dream family vacation, like how horses sense fear or sharks smell blood. And during the hectic packing phase their training begins. As if they are preparing for battle, they begin to test each other with new bickering techniques. Well crafted jabs of sarcasm that could drive a Buddhist monk into orbit not to mention a mom. But the day finally comes and you load up the car and go.... and of course the vacation is good but somehow feels exhausting and even though you're glad for the time with your family, when the week is done you feel like you might need some time off for some rest and relaxation.
Well this year our family vacation is different. We've combined our work with our family, something that hasn't been done since Laura Ingles Wilder's Pa made her a balloon out of a pig's bladder to play with while they slaughtered the family hog. But what the heck, my daughter Jane loved that book and so did I. So we are piling the family and gear into a very large and beautifully decorated RV and crisscrossing the state picking up litter, listening to great music, meeting fabulous Tennesseans. My only secret desire on this trip is to survive. By day two we've already experienced more than a month of beach vacations and at night my kids fall into bed tired and sleepy. What more does a mom need?