Monday, September 3, 2012

when vacation plans go bust

Even now, as I sit here and start typing, I feel ... icky. 

I've just forced down two slices of gluten-free toast because (thankfully) my appetite has (sort of) returned but my stomach has not caught up.

No, it's not morning sickness any more.  I think I might be done with morning sickness, although it's a little hard to tell at this point.  You see, while starting the first week of the second trimester, I (oh joy) caught my little one's stomach bug.

This wouldn't have been so awful had it not been a planned vacation weekend.

Is it just me or when you have kids, do the most inopportune things happen at the worst times? 


Okay, okay.  Let me start from the beginning.  And I promise, I'll try to spare you the icky details and just be vague and sweeping in my description of things.

The first thing you should know is that -- probably like you -- Elliott and I don't really get away very much.  We don't get to go on a real vacation often, because usually our trips are devoted to CCO training events or support-raising.

The second thing you should know is that Elliott and I are very much in love with the mountains.  We live in (sadly) a generally flat part of the country (compared to growing up along the Appalachian trail, ya know?) and it gnaws away at my soul a little bit every day.  So when we can, we like to go to the mountains.  It doesn't matter where (although we believe the White Mountains in NH is what heaven will look like) -- as long as we can see mountains and go hiking and all that wonderful outdoorsy stuff. 

We also have a lot of family that we love and want to visit.

With that in mind...

We planned a five-day getaway to the Adirondacks.  I have a number of family members up there (and a good friend whom I haven't seen in 10 YEARS - Hi, Stacy!!) and Elliott hadn't yet had a real chance to hang out with them (our wedding doesn't count; we were a bit distracted with each other that day). 

The night before we leave, my husband hears weird noises coming from the nursery.  He goes in, and to our horror, we find Gwennygirl got sick probably an hour or two before and was ... well, in need of a bath. 

I cried and stripped the sheets along with the beloved froggy lovey and started a wash; Elliott gave the baby a bath, and the baby -- despite being sick to her stomach -- was having the time of her life.  At first, she was in shock, and then she realized she was up with mom and dad in the middle of the night and got the idea: "Hey.... this is AWESOME!!"  She goes to bed really early (between 5:30 and 6pm), so she was enamored by the night sounds outside and the lights from the cars.

Anyways, we didn't exactly get the sleep we anticipated, but Gwen only got better, so we decided to leave without thinking twice about it.

The first full day of vacation, I woke up and felt immediately really, really ill.  Of course, I chalked it up to morning sickness and tried to muster up the energy to take care of the baby.  And I ate something -- even though everything in my body was telling me not to -- because I thought maybe I just needed something in my stomach.  Big mistake.

So here's where I'll skip the details.  You've been there.  I spent most of the day bedridden and couldn't eat a thing, and of course I also worried about the little Baby Simko growing inside me, not getting any nourishment.  The only thing I could stomach was fruit punch -- which, incidentally, I never drink -- but I figured anything was better than nothing.

That night, I slept on the couch just in case I had to run to the bathroom.  I didn't want to wake Gwen, who was sleeping in the same room with us -- which, in her mind means that it's PLAYTIME ALL THE TIME ("Mommy and Daddy are in the room with me?  It must be time to wake up!!!").

It wouldn't have mattered anyways because baby was up at 3:30, whimpering to my husband until he finally got her at 5:30 am and brought her downstairs.  He looked really out of it and said he felt like a train hit him so I tried to help him out.

So there we were, day two of vacation, both of us sick -- running around chasing a very mobile baby.  We decided pretty early on that day to just cut our losses and head home. And let me tell you -- packing up your stuff and driving several hours home is not exactly the easiest thing to do when both parents are sick and need to be in bed.  But we did it -- not only for ourselves, but also for my poor cousins who basically nursed one of us the whole time we were there.

It wasn't completely a bust.  We did get to spend a lot of quality time with my cousins (especially Elliott, since he wasn't sick until the day we left) and we enjoyed their new home and beyond-beautiful property.  But it wasn't exactly the idyllic rest in the mountains we have envisioned.

I'm not upset or angry.  I mean, these things happen -- especially when you have kids and those kids have friends and those friends have germs.  It just is part of the territory.  I get that.

But on the way home, I just started thinking -- what's God thinking in the midst of all this?  Was there some sort of greater purpose?  Was He orchestrating something in the background that I was unaware of?

I haven't gotten any answers, but I'd love to know.  Because, well -- I was really looking forward to this trip and it didn't turn out anything like we planned.  And that's fine.  It's okay.  We still got to rest.  I would just love to know... why.  Just simply: why.

So this is where I turn the conversation to you -- because I know you have experienced this story, or something very similar:

  • When have you experienced a less-than-idyllic vacation?  How did you react?  
  • Did you find any silver living in the disappointment?  Did you see God in any of the more difficult moments?

1 comment:

  1. I can absolutely relate, Rachel, and there have certainly been times when God has graciously allowed me to see a silver lining, or showed me something He was trying to teach me, or at least feel His loving presence assuring me I'm ok.

    But there have also been times when the answer to those questions is, "No." I don't see His hand or feel His presence. There is no, "Aha, this is why..." moment.

    And for me, that begs a deeper question than, "Why?"

    "Will you trust God anyway?" Even when it makes no sense, even when there are no answers and no guarantee that answers will ever come, will you still believe He is in control and He is good? Will you believe what is true, even when it doesn't feel that way?

    Sitting with these questions have grown my faith in ways and in measure I cannot express adequately in words.

    Of course I believe God doesn't always withhold understanding. He knows we need to see the hows and whys, and He loves to answer prayer because it brings us closer to Him. But I think He wants us to seek and rely on His heart much more than His hand.

    By the way, I'm not writing any of this to say "this is how you should respond." Your post and your questions resonate with me and have reminded me of this part of my journey, and this is just my musing response to what you had to say.

    So thanks for the reminder. I hope your sweet family is well and whole soon. Love you all!


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