My dad called me last night.
"We just got here a half hour ago. The house is small, and the drive took us seven hours. I can't see the beach. Your mom and I think its not worth it for you to drive all this way with the kids, maybe you shouldn't come."
The last "vacation" I took was in July of last year. J and I had just decided to separate, but we had already booked a trip to New Jersey to see family and friends. We decided we would go, and while it was really wonderful to reconnect with people we both loved, there was such a deep layer of tension, grief and anger, that there was nothing relaxing or vacation-like about it.
The year before that, I took a few days off midweek to cut brush in the pasture and do some things around the place that needed doing. That was my vacation.
Before that? I don't even remember.
So Dad, listen. I know it might be cold there at the ocean. That's okay by me. Its 100 degrees here in the middle part of the state and I'm tired of being hot all the time. It might be a little walk to the beach. That's okay too. I have a car. I have feet. The kids have their bikes. Its sand and ocean, and I haven't seen the ocean in a year. I need the ocean so I can remember what it feels like to breathe. To inhale deeply the salt air, to walk and feel the crunch of sand under my feet. To find shells and pieces of driftwood and gaze out over a horizon that holds nothing but water and sky.
It might be a small house. I don't mind. I can handle small. Its more likely that we'll be at the beach the whole time. There might not be a lot to do. I'm fine with that...have you seen the stack of books I'm bringing?
I'll admit I'm not keen on the drive, but I think we'll survive, the kids and I. That's why God invented portable DVD players.
So Dad, its all good. I'll see you tomorrow night, OK?