Two days ago my family and I set out for a vacation weekend to the Dead Sea.
The day before we left, I was told (was kindly asked?) to pack us all up and have us ready to go by 2 PM on Thursday afternoon.
Which was fine.
I don’t really mind packing up 5 of the 6 of us. (My husband packs his stuff on his own.)
It was only two nights anyway.
And we weren’t camping.
Which makes things a lot easier.
So, besides the mandatory stuff (clothes, bathroom items, etc.), I made sure to pack one small backpack per family member, one hat, and one bottle of water.
And the reason I did this, which is an important piece of information in this story, is because on our last family hike, we didn’t go prepared.
We didn’t bring enough water.
We got dehydrated.
And, I’ll spare you the rest of the details.
Now, I’m one who likes (and strives) to learn from history.
(At least, my personal history).
So, as we were about to leave the youth hostel that we slept at the night before and head to the Masada National Park, I did a quick check.
6 Hats? Check.
6 Bags? Check.
6 Bottles of Water?
Where were the other two?
“Who knows?” was the response I got.
So, I said to my husband, “Well, we’ll just have to stop and pick up two more bottles on the way.”
He didn’t agree.
Four bottles were enough in his mind.
But, not in my mind.
Among other things, this certainly wasn’t going to teach the kids a lesson on how to be responsible when hiking!
(Yes, even my 4 year old, who hikes with a bottle in his bag that he’s carrying on his back, understands the value of water.)
This was not going as planned.
The plan my husband insisted that I take responsibility for.
And I wasn’t the least bit happy.
I mean, really.
What’s the big deal about picking up two more bottles of water?
Was it a money issue?
Was it a principle issue?
I didn’t get it.
I insisted he explain to me why he was being so stubborn about this.
He said if we add up the total number of liters we had it was enough.
But, I couldn’t hear that.
We just bickered.
Back and forth.
In front of the kids.
It was kind of ugly.
And not such a great way to start the morning.
I was stuck on stubborn.
(Well, he was stuck, too, but that’s not my problem. My problem is dealing with my own stuckiness, not his or anyone else’s.)
And, after one of my kids insisted we go for marriage therapy, I…
Stopped and took a breath.
Considered another perspective. Well, the whole purpose of each person carrying his/her own water bottle was to teach responsibility. But, the truth of the matter is, what I was really concerned about was having enough water. And, my husband was right. When we added up the total number of liters we had (we brought some large bottles with us) we had more water than if we had just each brought 6 regular-sized bottles on our own. And, really the hike wasn’t a big deal. Only about one hour up. And, I knew there were water taps at the top to do refills.
Fine, we’ll go with four bottles that we have instead of six. Next time, I’ll try to plan even more efficiently.
And I reminded myself that it’s oK that I got stuck on my plan in the first place.