When we were getting ready for family vacations, it went a little like this:
Mom printed out her list of items that we owned. This was her list of things to bring with her.
Mom emptied out the cupboards and closets and placed it all neatly in a "staging area" which was usually a little in the kitchen, a little in the living room and a little in every other room.
Mom packed Dad's things.
Dad shows up on leaving day with a schedule in mind that he may or may not have shared with Mom.
Mom shows him the piles he's to pack, he "encourages" the children to help him move Mom's staging areas to Dad's staging area outside behind the Yellow And White Suburban.
This is where things start to go awry. Mom never gives Dad the items he wants when he wants them. Mom's tired from the weeks of packing up the entire house, so she may or may not be a little grumpy. Dad's worried about loading up the entire house into the Yellow And White Suburban while still leaving all windows available for clear viewing with no potential projectiles. Usually there was room for all three children. Including the one who may or may not have been grouchy because we were traveling on her birthday. Again.
Multiply all of this times twelve when the Avocado Green (this may or may not have been in the early 80's) push and shove trailer was involved. Including the amount of stuff. My Mom has an amazing knack for knowing the exact cubic footage available to her and using each cubic inch.
But I watched this dance so many times that it became natural. Normal. When I was in high school I would sometimes go places with a friend of mine and would always end up packing her family's car.
So as I pack for our family vacation, I am taking my lessons learned and using them. And hopefully improving on them. Or not. There is a rather large staging area in my garage. The only lists that exist are either in my head or scribbled on a napkin or crumbled up piece of paper. I am trying to find things in my house that I can leave at home (do you think I'll need my box of receipts from 2002? Yeah, I thought I would, too.). I think all of the grocery shopping is done. The library trip has been made and card games are in the staging area. There may or may not be enough room for all three of my children.
I am apropriately exhausted. And the vacation has not even begun.
P.S. Dad, if you don't start blogging again, I'm going to keep writing about you...