My husband, Ted, helps our older son Sam, age seven, climb up a canyon wall during a family vacation to Starved Rock State Park in Oglesby, Ill.
Last year during Spring Break we took our first-ever family trip to a hotel. It was my idea. The first day we planned to see the St. Louis Arch and swim in the hotel pool. The second day we were supposed to visit the City Museum, a kid paradise of climbing, tunnels and slides. Day one was good. Then it was night.
Here were our sleeping arrangements in our two-bed hotel room, in chronological order:
Eli (then almost three) and Sam (almost six) in one bed.
Eli and Sam in separate beds. Then Eli, now asleep, moved in with Sam again when Mom and Dad go to bed.
Dad kicks legs, waking Mom twice just as she is about to fall asleep. Boys move continuously and noisily, also keeping her awake. Muscles in Mom’s back pulse.
Sam says Eli is crowding him. Mom puts Eli in her bed and Dad gets in bed with Sam. Eli continues to move.
Dad gets in bed with Eli. Mom moves back to her original bed, now with Sam.
Sam won’t stop moving, waking Mom multiple times.
Sam sent to sleep on floor with Dad and Eli’s comforter. Towels below Eli; no pad.
Everyone sleeps until Dad’s snores, from a separate bed, wake Mom multiple times through special snore ear plugs. Mom hisses until Dad wakes up enough to stop.
Eli wakes up Dad early by butting into him before 6 am.
Dad comes back into bed with Mom. Boys giggle and twitch.
Dad tells Mom they are not going to the City Museum, the original purpose the trip. Luckily kids do not know what they are missing.
We finished the trip with breakfast and watching a giant backhoe on the street. Sam made his first-ever purchase with his own money, a small bottle of mineral water for $2.80. He pretended to like it.
Recently our family braved a hotel again to visit Starved Rock State Park with my husband’s extended family. With one boy on the floor in a sleeping bag, and one boy on a bed, we didn’t have to move anyone the whole night. Unfortunately we had no control over hallway revelers.
My son Eli, shown in our Springfield, Ill., living room just after he opened a Batman mask and cape from my mom and sister for his fourth birthday. He wore them for the next two days.
During a birthday celebration for my mom, my sons Sam and Eli, ages four and almost seven, surprised us all by bursting into the living room and staging an impromptu sumo wrestling match.
This is a season of family gatherings and celebrations. Years ago my brother-in-law noted that there were a lot of cake and ice cream parties in his wife’s eight-sibling family. Little did he know what was coming, when more in-laws and children would join the growing party.
Between Mid-May and July it is our familial duty to eat cake, ice cream and sometimes pie, on behalf of my two sons, my husband, my mom, my dad, me, and several nieces and nephews.
Early in the morning of my younger son’s birthday, his brother and I were waiting until everyone else was awake so we could decorate. I came across a photo of him as a baby on Millennium Images‘ home page. The memory was a nice way to begin celebrating.
I am a new contributor to Millennium, a London-based stock agency, and you can see my photos that are licensed through them here
Photos above are from Father to Son and Domestic Life galleries