beth woolsey

mess maker • magic finder • rule breaker • kindness monger

On Being A Good Vacation Role Model

I’m way more mature than my children.

I just thought I’d put that out there in case any of you have ever wondered.

Oh.  You need proof?

That’s OK.  I’m not offended at all.  I understand completely.

So, for example, say my family is on vacation.   We’re cruising on the Disney Wonder – Day 3 of our journey – through gorgeous Tracy Arm fjord in Alaska.

The bright blue glacial ice and deep green water are majestic against the backdrop of high-reaching mountains.

The sheer volume of ice is spectacular as we work our way further and further north.

I suspect the ice is even more spectacular for the people who don’t sit on board wracking their brains trying to remember exactly how big an iceberg has to be before it punctures a ship’s hull, a la Titanic.  But whatever.

The weather is cooperating, cold but clear, and this is our chance to brave the outdoors and soak up those iceberg rays.  (“Iceberg rays,” you say?  Just you shush.  I’m a warm weather vacationer, and pretending icebergs have rays is one of many self-deceiving ploys I use to pull myself together.)

We take the family up on deck, armed with hot chocolate for the kiddos and hot coffee for the mama.  We feel the temperature plummet as we near the ice fields.

And some of us – specifically one kid and me – finish our hot beverages faster than others.  I maintain that Cael and I weren’t hoggishly fast, sucking down our drinks.  The others were just agonizingly slow.  “Right, Cael?”  “Right, Mom!”

Because coffee and hot chocolate are sustenance, folks, not unhurried pleasure.  This is no time to leisurely savor sips, wander slowly around the outside decks, and drink in beauty with our eyes.

No, I say.  Nay!  This is time to check “Lookin’ at the Ice” off of our vacation to-do list, throw back our drinks, and go do another activity!

Why, whatever do you mean that I’m impatient, don’t know how to relax, and have to be constantly on the go?  I have no idea what you’re talking about.

This, most emphatically, is NOT time for nose-pickin’, appearances to the contrary aside.

So you can see how frustrating it can be to Cael and me – who are ON SCHEDULE with our beverage drinking – to have to watch others deliberately dawdling over their own.  Ours are gone.

But back to me being way more mature than my children.

See, when someone has something I want… something I may slightly, in the smallest possible way, regret consuming faster than a seal grabs a salmon dinner…, I don’t stare longingly at it.

And I don’t pout.


Despite the fact that my friend Jody taunts me in photo after photo by holding her own coffee perilously close to me,

I never falter.


And I never break.

Gosh.  It’s just a really good thing my kids have such a strong role model to show them proper behavior.

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