Learning to dance in the rain

I had this great post planned about packing and dressing the family for vacation. I had my boys’ perfect little outfits all picked out, pressed, folded, and expertly coordinated. I had the hypothetical shots laid out in my head, picture-perfect snapshots of my family to document our traditional vacation.

And then, well, you know, life happened.

I heard this quote once, that “Life isn’t about waiting for the rain to pass, it’s about learning to dance in the rain,” and as I grow older and my family grows, I realize how true this quote is.

Recently, we went on a family vacation to the Poconos, and I had all these grand plans. First, I would get the kids all dressed up, and we were going to enjoy family time in the two-hour car ride, documenting all the special little moments we always share along the way. As the crisp breeze flowed through the open windows, the little ones would take a nap on the smooth ride, and once we arrived at our destination, the boys would be well-rested, ready to embark on our amazing adventure.

Then real life happened.

Problem 1: All three boys refused to cooperate. My Jeremy, in all his eight-year-old glory, decided he is just too cool to take family pictures. Perfect.

Problem 2: Remember that picturesque, smooth-sailing car ride I envisioned? Well, the dreaded traffic squashed that plan, which lead to…

Problem 3: Carsick children. Carsick children who were unable to fall asleep because they were too busy turning various shades of green and clutching garbage bags. Let’s just say once we finally arrived, everyone was happy to be out of the car. They spent the rest of the afternoon reluctantly nibbling on dry crackers.

Hidden Opportunities

Despite my visions being disrupted by uncooperative kids, traffic, and sickness, it was all okay – in fact, it was better than okay. After all of that came the part where we were able to dance in the rain.

Instead of things going as planned, we ended up staying in our cabin. Because of that, the children witnessed a whole family of deer (mother, father and babies) come up within a few feet from them. They were enamored, and we all got to enjoy the unexpected moment, with peacefulness of nature hugging us all together so tight. The sickness subsided, so we ended the day with a nature walk and delicious barbecue.

The remaining days were filled with football games, ziplining, bumper cars, and swimming to name a few. I didn’t get the posed shots I wanted, but guess what? The kids had a blast and created memories they will be talking about for a lifetime.

What I learned

The trip by in large was a success, and I even learned a few lessons along the way.

Plans don’t always go your way. That’s life. Especially with children.

You have choices: you can choose to spend time being upset about what could have been. You can get swallowed up whole by the negativity. You can ignore the beauty around you.

Sure, our trip didn’t go according to my spreadsheet, but we chose differently – we chose to dance in the rain.