I do not believe that I have ever actually taken a REAL vacation. Of course, when I was young, I took road trips and did a ton of fucking around. But back then, life was a series of irresponsible words and actions. I was always pissing someone off, getting my ass in trouble, and ugh. What a bundle of NERVES I am. I've never been able to stand vacations. Once I took a trip with a friend who was just as much of a nervous bitch as myself. We had an awful time together, and succeeded in having fun only when we attached ourselves to some halfway interesting guys.
I've come a long way since then. I've survived so many things that nobody would expect to have to deal with. And now, when my vacation began, I was just damn glad to get the hell out of town. I was also forced into being a bit easier to be around because I drove my two nieces close to a thousand miles for a bit of a family reunion. My brother's SUV isn't big enough, if one can imagine, to carry all of the kids safely. It has taken about as long as it has for my oldest niece to reach driving age for this aunt to learn the fine art of patience. I'm sure if I would have been easier to be around in the first place, I'd have my own brood of patience-teachers, I guess. Oh well. Too late to wonder about that now...
Right now, I'm speeding due north, blasting "Mickey" by Toni Basil, all three of us vainly attempting to out-scream each other. Then, we take it down a thousand when the next selection happens to by one of my niece's favorites, "Lily" by Pink Martini. The other niece has never heard this one before, so it's time for niece no. 1 to show off her lyric-learning prowess.
At the first rest area, we take pictures with my ancient digital camera. We won't know until we get back if the pictures actually turned out right, because the screen no longer works. The background is breathtaking, so we all yell, "THAT one BETTER work!" The girls take some shots with their own miniature cameras that my mom picked up at Walgreens while she was carting them around town before dropping them off at my house earlier in the day. I look at my watch, silently damning her to hell. Her job was to piss me off royally by making our official departure time three hours late.
But it is at this rest area that I realize the true meaning of a vacation. It is to forget about your fucking PLANS. At that moment, when I know I'll be stopping at some godforsaken funny-smelling super8 or motel6 or whatever at 3:00 AM, that I just let it all go and make a choice to enjoy the moment with my sweet little nieces, who were so excited to spend the week with the aunt they look up to. Hell if I know why they look up to me, but I'd be the biggest idiot in the world if I didn't wallow in it for a few years. I've seen how they slooooowly decide that they are smarter, cooler, more independant than Aunt MH. That's when I know I've lost them for a few years. Eventually, the oldest, who is in this current stage of disilliusionment, will suddenly be hit with a huge wave of remorse for not appreciating all of the holiday and birthday gifts from old AMH. But alas, then it will be too late. For AMH will be concentrating on her own life. Perhaps she'll have another kitty to pay too much attention to..... sigh.