I wanted this spring break to be special. It is the last time we will have a family vacation with all the kids before Mia goes to college. I thought we would take the kids to Farmington and go fishing. Then Mike had to work so it was me and the kids. Mica and Mikal didn’t want to go north and Mike said they could stay here with grandma. I threw a hissy fit [so unattractive] and demanded that we all go together. In a compromise [because I really did want it to be fun for everyone] I planned a short trip through Southern New Mexico and West Texas before heading to Farmington. Maybe I’m crazy or just naive but I left the house with seven hungry kids in a gas guzzling passenger van with only $500 and no reservations.
Our first stop was Balmorhea, Texas. Not only was it cold and windy, no good for swimming, but the campground was full. We decided to drive to Carlsbad to spend the night. It took forever and we ended up staying in an overpriced hotel. Goodbye hundred dollar bill; it was nice knowing you. We woke up and went to Carlsbad Caverns. Yay! It was so fun. I wish we would have stayed for a bat flight, but the kids were anxious to get on the road. Aliens! A few more hours of driving landed us in Roswell at another overpriced hotel. I was already running out of money, so instead of eating at the super cool McDonald’s that looked like an alien spaceship I bought a loaf of bread and we made sandwiches at the hotel.
The next morning, I woke up early and all the kids were still sleeping. I went to the bathroom and saw roaches scurrying around the floor of the shower. I started to cry, feeling sorry for myself and my kids and thinking about all the things that I can’t give them. I wish we could fly somewhere exciting and stay at a nice hotel where they could all sleep in a bed and order room service, instead of camping on the floor of a dirty hotel room where they ask us not to turn on the water after ten. I wish I could take them out to a restaurant and let them order what they want instead of counting my money and dividing by eight. Two things off the dollar menu for each of you!
After about two minutes of that crap I stopped, disgusted with myself. Think about how great my life is compared with millions of people around the world. We got to go on vacation and see things that people pay a lot of money to come and visit. The caverns don’t care what you wear or how much money you have. They are spectacular. It doesn’t take money to laugh at the absurdity of Roswell, where even the light posts look like aliens. Is the sunset more beautiful if you are wearing designer clothes? We all had pillows and blankets, sleeping indoors with cable and running water. I want my kids to appreciate life and be able to enjoy themselves in any situation.
“When you are grateful fear disappears and abundance appears.” Anthony Robbins
We ran out of money and came back home to do laundry and regroup. We’ll be driving to Farmington today or tomorrow. In the meantime, check out the pictures of our spring break so far.