This past week, our family of five packed up the van and headed north to a secluded-ish cabin in Oregon. Our main mission was to visit Crater Lake (see featured photo and Google the history…amazing!!). We also wanted to introduce the kiddos to fishing and running wild in a woods setting.
My mission was to survive this trip without caving to a drink.
As most any parent knows, taking young children on a vacation is exhausting! All routines go right out the minivan window, and the kids suddenly think they’re in those Little Caesar’s commercials…
And honestly, we (well, more so my husband) were completely OK with that because we really wanted them to just enjoy the freedom of nature.
Although the cabin we found was like going into a time-warp back to the late 90’s (we found a collection of cassette tapes–one being Britney Spears), it was the perfect setting outdoors. There were seven acres of trees, open-space, a tire swing, a frog pond, a covered porch, deer, a hammock, sheds, and a cute little trail around the entire property. Our youngest, especially, couldn’t get enough!
The only entertainment inside was spotty Netflix, worn-down board games with missing pieces, and TONS of scholarly animal books (nothing like doing some light reading on squirrels and elk to a two-year-old).
But, again, the simplicity was perfect. For everyone.
We all had to force ourselves to shift, slowdown, and open our minds to new experiences. We all just had to be as one and live in the moments.
-The kids really had to turn up their imagination. I had to turn down my Type A personality.
-The kids had to face fears of unknown muddy waters. I had to face fears of being present, quiet, and fatigued sober.
-The kids had to accept our limited food stash. I had to accept that the cold beers I did indulge in were non-alcoholic.
-The kids had to see that incredible sites like Crater Lake come after being cooped up, yet again, in the van. I had to see that natural beauty humbles the soul.
-The kids had to learn fishing involves a whole lot of patience. I had to learn that fishing with children involves even more patience.
My words really do no justice in how fun, beautiful, and mind-opening this trip was for all of us. It amazed me that even when little hiccups arose, we all were able to stay in good spirits, to laugh the mishaps away. We saw life through our children’s eyes, and I know we created lifelong memories for each of them.
And I’m beyond grateful for the strength that I had to stay present and sober for every single moment because I, too, created worthwhile memories.
Hopefully the following visual highlights do some justice of our lovely quest for fun!