Last week we took our family on a week long dream vacation to the Disney World theme parks in Orlando. We visited Magic Kingdom, went to Epcot, hit Sea World, swam with dolphins and more.
Now that we’re back home from our whirlwind adventure from doing the biggest vacation our kids have ever had, what does my three year old talk about? The beach. Not Mickey Mouse, not the rides or the costumed characters. He liked the beach. All he will talk about is the beach.
Now admittedly we live in small town rural Iowa. It’s been a brutal winter. We haven’t seen warm weather in six months, the ocean is thousands of miles away and he’s never been to a “real” beach so a beach is kind of a novelty especially when there’s a ton of snow on the ground at home.
When I asked him what he liked so much about the beach, I thought he’d say the water or the sand. His answer? “Because you played with me all day.”
While our family had a great time at the theme parks, admittedly those days were very, very busy. There was lots of rushing, lots of people and we often split up so Dad and big sister could do big kid rides and my little man and I could see characters and do rides for the young ones. The only day for the entire week long trip that our family of four actually spent the entire whole day together on our family vacation was our day at the beach, and that day meant more to him than any expensive theme park ever would. He would have been happy digging in the sand the whole week if we would have let him
We loved Disney World and had a great time there. We will definitely go again many times in the future, but this was a bit of a reality check. Unfortunately as full time working parents my husband and I don’t always get to spend as much time with our children as we would like, but this has taught us a lesson about life from a preschooler who can’t even tie his shoes yet. Parenting isn’t about spending money, it’s about spending time. It doesn’t have to be expensive, it doesn’t even have to cost a thing. All your kids want is your attention and some time with you.
While there’s still snow on the ground here in Iowa, I just ordered the biggest, baddest set of beach toys I could find off of Amazon. You can guarantee once it does warm up here we’ll be spending more time at the beach.
What does your family like to do to spend time together?