We had such a good time. Sometimes I felt like pinching myself, certain moments were so dream-like. But then a baby pulled my hair or a two year-old needed help turning on the light in the bathroom, and I remembered that I was, in fact, still in reality. A neatly transposed mothering reality tucked in a cabin in the Blue Ridge Mountains.
We hiked a lot. We even did something crazy - crossing the suspension bridge atop Grandfather Mountain in what must have been tropical storm-force winds. Seriously. The wind was blowing so hard that I hardly had to breathe, it was entering my nose of its own accord. That, combined with my ever-so-slight fear of heights. I felt giddy, baby strapped to my front. It was like I was in high school again, jumping off a thirty foot rock into the river below (blowing out my ear drum, as my mother will surely remind me. Pshaw, Mom. It wasn't that bad. :)
I got to thinking about fear, and the thrill of pushing yourself just out of your comfort zone, and the confidence you gain, along with the sigh you breathe out, when it is done.
Am I comparing vacationing with two small children to jumping off a cliff? Oh yes. Excuse the hyperbole. But it is sort of like that, for a homebody like myself. I am an odd kind of homebody. I would much rather hang around the house than go out, and I guard our out-of-house schedule perhaps a bit too fiercely, not wanting to be over scheduled - pushed out of my comfort zone and into the not-as-predictable social world. But I do like the big adventure trip. I've taken many a leaps in my life, putting the homebody in me aside - living abroad twice, backpacking, jumping into water and swimming across large expanses of it, and even walking across aforementioned bridge.
Somehow, for me, a bigger, more symbolic move out of my comfort zone is easier than the everyday little ones. But I learned something about myself and my family on this, our first trip away from home as a family of four - the comfort zone is important to my family and my children, but so is pushing ourselves out of it every so often.
This week, we connected, we learned about each other, we laughed, we cried, we talked about the future, and we did things that I didn't think we'd been in a position to do before. We hiked nearly every day with Finn and Lachlan, each of us sporting a baby carrier just in case. We each conquered fears - our adult worries that everything would fall apart away from home, and Finn's smaller fears of standing up while peeing (!) and going tubing, to name a few.
We conquered fears, and we made memories. The best kind of vacation. We need to make such time together a priority.