By TMoM Team Member Sydney D. Richardson, Ph. D.
This year, my family went to Myrtle Beach for our vacation. It was wonderful to see the ocean, walk along the beach, and swim in the pool. Like our past vacations, we spent most of the time in or around the water, rarely venturing out other sights. Since this vacation happens once per year, we never really thought about doing other things besides seeing who could catch the most seashells or who could race to the water the quickest. I never had to plan what we would do because it was always bring simple: wake up, eat breakfast, go the ocean, go inside for lunch, take a nap, head to the pool, go inside for dinner, relax until bedtime.
However, this time was different. Towards the middle of our vacation, the tides turned (no pun intended). Accidently, my husband and I found ourselves in a “Yes Day” scenario. The kids were in control!
To be honest, we didn’t even realize what had happened until we talked about it when we got home. It all started as a simple suggestion, but suddenly the kids took over and we didn’t realize it until it was too late and I felt my stomach drop.
It all started over a pancake breakfast when my husband suggested that we go to Ripley’s Aquarium. Once we got there, it was over. The kids chose the exhibits, when we’d head to the gift shop and then the fiesta resistance: the Pavilion! Rides, candy, more rides, candy, and even more rides that I hadn’t been on since I was a teenager.
With the kids guiding us, my husband and I found ourselves having the best time, and the kids loved every minute of it. As parents, we planned to head to Ripley’s Aquarium and looked around, but the kids had other ideas. They got us to pet stingrays, marvel at hammerheads and turtles swimming above us, and meet a mermaid! We put our heads in clear tubes so it felt as though the fish were swimming around us. We ate ice cream BEFORE lunch. We drank fresh squeezed lemonade (I forgot what this tasted like) rode the carousel, spun around in teacups, and went back and forth so high on a giant swing. My daughter laughed as the swing went higher and higher, and I suddenly remembered that I hated when my stomach “dropped.” Then we rode it again! We at cotton candy, spent too much money at the gift shops, and carried lightsabers home to battle each other.
When we arrived back at our beach retreat, we followed up with a nap (kid inspired), and then a walk on the beach. Who knew that the kids could plan such a fun and tiring day like that? I doubt we’ll ever tell them how fun the day was, but we may need to find time to have them “accidently” plan a day for us again.
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