Its been quite some time since I've gone away on a vacation. I have taken a few long weekend jaunts that didn't include inlaws or my brother, ones without kids in tow. We haven't packed up as a family and headed out of town for more than a day trip that didn't include a destination to aunts or uncles. In just a little under a month though, we'll do just that - well three of us will. Megan will stay behind for her first sleepover at the grandparents.
We're taking Logan to ride Thomas the Tank Engine. What could be more thrilling for a young fanatic than to actually "meet" his idol? What could be more exciting for a train freak than to see a train musuem, ride the King of all trains and THEN ride what he's dubbed "the Polar Express" (which is really just another old black steam engine.) "When I see Thomas. . ." starts many a sentence. Its almost all he talks about lately.
Add to it, its his first memorable night in a hotel. The last time Logan stayed in one he was 3 months old and slept in the bassinete of the Pack-n-Play. This time he'll be just weeks shy of 3 years old. He's got plans for this big event too. He adores his monthly sleepovers with his grandparents and he sees the big hotel adventure as a chance to have a real sleepover with Mom and Dad. For now he's laid claim to a bed of his own, but I'd almost not be surprised to see that change. At
least until he gets drowsy and starts to drift. Given the chance, the boy is a cuddler.
As if that weren't enough, it'll also be his first camping trip. The first night is at the hotel; the second night at the campground. We've already pitched the tent in the yard (see!:)
Logan, as you can see, has tried out a sleeping bag. This weekend we bought him one of his own - a navy blue one with a stuff sack that has shoulder straps so he can tote his sleeping quarters around on his own back. He's so thrilled with this new item, especially since the set also included a flashlight and a squirt bottle. It was all we could do to talk to little guy out of pitching our tent in the yard last night
for a trial run. The threat of pending thunder storms made us think twice about giving into his pleas. Instead he slept in his bag as it lay on top of his bed last night. And in the morning he thanked us for it.
"I just love my bag! I can't wait to camp." he said.
And that's the thing. He can't wait for any of it. He's so excited it reminds me of the way we both get right before Christmas. The butterflies of anticipation in our stomachs. The giddy pleasure that comes from making our plans. The smiles we share as we cross off another day on the calendar - one day closer. The biggest thing though,
is just like the holiday, he's not the only one waiting impatiently for this trip. I am too. I'm not sure what thrills me more about it - the idea that its a real trip out with my family (even though we're headed off without Meg because I, frankly, am too chicken to juggle an over-excited 3 year old, thousands of crazed kids and their parents...and my infant.) OR the fact that my kid is just so darn besides himself with joy already.
I honestly can not wait. I don't think I've looked forward to a trip this much since my own childhood...well ok, maybe a few of them. But not in a long time.