Sometimes Fantasies Need A “Plan B”

When I asked my younger son what he wanted for his sixth birthday, he only had one request:  “I want to see snow.”

In most parts of the country, this would be a simple wish to fulfill; just lead him to the window, fling open the drapes and gift granted:  enough snow piled in the yard to make a 2-foot deep snow angel, a snowman and an arsenal of snowballs.  And under the big mound of snow in the driveway, you could almost make out the shape of the family car.  Oops, sorry…that was the adult thought process creeping in.

Here in the desert, it would be easier to head to a toy store and pluck a toy off the shelf.  But we will take him to the snow for his birthday.  Here are a few reasons why I am in favor of it:  A trip to the snow will not be strung out on my family room floor, making vacuuming nearly impossible.  I cannot slip or stub my toe on a vacation when I get a glass of water in the middle of the night.  A visit to the snow will not be tossed aside in a few months, left for me to pack it in the car and schlep it off to Goodwill (with him clutching my leg begging me not to give away his ‘favorite toy.’)

Still, I know that the visit to the snow can’t live up to the fantasy he’s created in his mind.  I expect him to whine about his freezing fingers after about twenty minutes (if that) in the snow.  He will get frustrated that his fingers won’t work right in gloves.  He will get mad when clumps of snow slip inside his boots. And he will be disappointed when his snowman doesn’t look like Frosty, but instead, looks like tumor-inflicted mutant.

I am also aware that his innocent declaration of wanting to “build a snowman” really means he wants to peg me in the back (or the face) with a snowball.  Perhaps I will allow him this moment of glee, because it will distract him from his discomfort.  When he remembers his icy fingers, wet feet and ugly snowman, we will reveal the “Plan B” we worked into the trip:

That’s right.  We booked a hotel with an indoor heated pool.  (We’ve learned from past mistakes :))

Do your vacations live up to what you imagined?  Or do you keep expectations low and find yourself pleasantly surprised?


26 thoughts on “Sometimes Fantasies Need A “Plan B”

  1. pattisj January 10, 2012 / 9:45 PM

    It depends on how many other family members are on said vacation. 🙂 Our recent trip (October) was a winner!

    • jannatwrites January 11, 2012 / 8:16 PM

      The company could definitely affect the trip’s outcome, Patti. I’m just wondering which makes it better…more family or less?

      • pattisj January 14, 2012 / 9:11 AM

        Depends on the family…time will tell! lol Enjoy!

  2. J. P. Cabit January 11, 2012 / 2:21 AM

    Ha ha! Sounds like a perfect plan. Trust God but tie up your camels, they say. 🙂

    Oh, and I died for a second when I saw the mutant snowman. Truly a nightmare. *shivers*

    • jannatwrites January 11, 2012 / 8:22 PM

      Seph, I hadn’t heard that saying, but I like it!

      I’m glad you found the snowman picture sufficiently disturbing. (Getting the pic was an interesting journey in itself. I’m not totally shocked that women would post mostly-nude photos of themselves in the snow…but I didn’t expect them in the results of my ‘ugly snowman’ search. Yikes!)

  3. Widdershins January 11, 2012 / 3:01 AM

    Wise parent! … enjoy the snow … we’re still waiting for ours here … le sigh!

    • jannatwrites January 11, 2012 / 8:23 PM

      I’m not sure how far we’ll have to drive to see snow, but luckily, he won’t require large quantities of it! I hope you get your snow soon, Widdershins 🙂

  4. suzicate January 11, 2012 / 5:33 AM

    What great parents you are! Not to mention you are great planners as well. Snow is awesome to look at but the discomforts settle in quickly!

    • jannatwrites January 11, 2012 / 8:26 PM

      Thanks, SuziCate! I love the snow when it first falls, but it’s depressing after it turns into brown sludge after they salt the roads. You are right though, it doesn’t take long to figure out being cold isn’t much fun.

    • jannatwrites January 11, 2012 / 8:26 PM

      Thanks, Phil. I just hope it works 🙂

  5. nrhatch January 11, 2012 / 8:42 AM

    What a wonderful gift . . . for HIM and YOU! Enjoy every minute of your trip. 😀

    • jannatwrites January 11, 2012 / 8:28 PM

      Thanks, Nancy! I will do my best to enjoy every minute…even the ones spent in the car. (Historically, those aren’t so fun!)

  6. Debbie January 11, 2012 / 9:25 AM

    Snow, for adults, is over-rated; for kids, it’s magical! Yes, he’ll be cold. His fingers won’t work right because they’re cold. Melting snow is cold, icy cold. But you’re being such good parents to let him experience it for himself! And I really like your backup plan — who knows, he just might enjoy that way more!

    • jannatwrites January 11, 2012 / 8:31 PM

      I feel better with the back up plan in place, Debbie. I remember when we took him to the snow when he was two. We put a pair of rubber boots on him so the snow wouldn’t get in his shoes. He refused to walk, but instead, stood there and screamed/cried. I waited in the car with little Cranky Pants while hubby and my older son played 🙂

  7. Yvonne Root January 11, 2012 / 10:25 AM

    In response to your question. Some do and some don’t. And I usually imagine big. 🙂

    In response to your plans. Fabulous! Your son will have this memory forever. The dorky toys will be forgotten very soon.

    • jannatwrites January 11, 2012 / 8:33 PM

      How fun when you imagine big and the vacation is better than expected! We do have a win/win situation here – he gets the experience (and we get to share it with him) AND we don’t have to deal with more clutter in the house. Yay!

      Thanks for visiting and sharing your comment, Yvonne 🙂

  8. jeanne January 12, 2012 / 5:58 PM

    I am all for Hotels with heated pools..enjoy!

    • jannatwrites January 12, 2012 / 8:40 PM

      Thanks, Jeanne! Even the heated pools are too cold for me, so I’ll just watch and get splashed 🙂

  9. sonsothunder January 14, 2012 / 2:05 AM

    These days…I guess we should be careful what we wish for, as Snow in a desert doesn’t seem that far fetched…one day to the next…Bless You

    • jannatwrites January 16, 2012 / 6:55 PM

      Snow does happen once in a while (twice in the 20+ years I’ve been here) but it never sticks around long 🙂

      Thanks for reading and sharing your comment, Paul!

  10. pattyabr January 14, 2012 / 3:43 PM

    Sounds like fun! What a creative mom you are! Enjoy the snow and the pool!

    • jannatwrites January 16, 2012 / 6:58 PM

      Thanks, Patty! We did have fun. If I ever get a chance to get the pics off the camera, I’ll write about it!

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