+
What you DON'T see in our idyllic family vacation photos
Annie Reneau

A few years ago, our family took a two-week road trip through the Pacific Northwest. We visited six state parks and four national parks, camped under the Redwoods, frolicked in the Pacific Ocean, hiked through breathtaking scenery, and ate and laughed with friends and family who traveled with us.

Perusing the photos from that vacation (or "family trip" to be more accurate, per M. Blazoned's brilliant analysis), I see gorgeous vistas and genuine smiles, children playing and families picnicking, magical moments of beauty and bliss.

But photos never show the whole picture, do they? This is a problem in the social media age as studies suggest that constantly seeing people's "highlight reels" on Facebook and Instagram can lead to sadness and/or jealousy. Apparently, scrolling through photos of our friends basking on beautiful beaches while we're waging whining wars with our wee ones can make us feel all icky inside. Go figure.


Since I don't like the thought of people feeling icky inside, I thought it might be helpful to share what you don't see in our fun family vacation photos:

THE "KIDS HAVING A UNIQUE EXPERIENCE" SHOTwww.motherhoodandmore.com

What you see: A group of happy kids peering down the empty center of an ancient Redwood tree. So cool.

What you don't see: One of my kids stomping away angrily because I wouldn't let her slide down the hollow after her much older friend (and Boy Scout) did it first and found it to be too treacherous. (The slope was much longer and steeper than it looks in the photo.)

THE "TOTALLY NATURAL, CANDID KID PORTRAIT" SHOTwww.motherhoodandmore.com

What you see: My sweet, happy boy on the banks of a swimming hole in Yosemite National Park gazing lovingly at his mother.

What you don't see: Me carrying this unhappy boy away from said swimming hole while he threw an enormous fit because it was time to go and we couldn't find the "perfect hiking stick" he had found on the way there. Someone actually slow clapped as I escorted him away. Good times.

THE "FAMILY WALKING TOWARDS THE GORGEOUS SCENERY" SHOTwww.motherhoodandmore.com

What you see: Our big group of family and friends walking into the woods for a lovely picnic lunch under the amazing granite formations of Yosemite.

What you don't see: We had just driven three cars full of hungry, cranky children in circles for 20 minutes trying to find a parking space near the visitor's center, to no avail. (Fair warning: Yosemite Valley is NUTS in August.)

THE "KID ENJOYING THE WONDERS OF NATURE" SHOTwww.motherhoodandmore.com

What you see: Our little nature lover demonstrating how big the sugar pine cone she found was at our campsite.

What you don't see: The teeth-gnashing negotiations that ensued when I said she couldn't bring the sap-dripping pine cone home with her because it was unbelievably sticky and also against park rules. Taking this photo was her consolation prize.

THE "ALL-AMERICAN ICE CREAM CONE" SHOTwww.motherhoodandmore.com

What you see: My youngest enjoying his hard-earned ice cream after a day of hiking at Yosemite.

What you don't see: The complaints that ensued after he finished his ice cream because I would not also buy him Cheetos. GAH.

THE "KIDS ALL SITTING IN ONE SPOT TOGETHER, SMILING AND CALM" SHOTwww.motherhoodandmore.com

What you see: Six happy kids in a hammock at the campground in Lassen Volcanic National Park.

What you don't see: Four not-so-happy parents telling kids for the 127th time to stop throwing dirt, stop yelling and screeching (sorry, fellow campers), and stop playing in the fire.

THE "BREATHTAKING VISTA ON A BEAUTIFUL DAY" SHOTwww.motherhoodandmore.com

What you see: A gorgeous view of Crater Lake's incomparably blue waters from the Phantom Ship overlook.

What you don't see: Me spending the entire 1/2-mile hike to this overlook dealing with a six-year-old melting down because I wouldn't let him get a Swiss Army knife. (Man, traveling can be tough on the six-year-olds.)

THE "KIDS ACTIVELY PLAYING IN NATURE" SHOTwww.motherhoodandmore.com

What you see: Kids enjoying beautiful Plaikni Falls in Crater Lake National Park.

What you don't see: Every one of those kids revolting over the 1.3 mile hike to get there because (and I quote) "We've already seeeeen enough beautiful sceneryyyyy!" Wah. Wah. Wah.

THE "SIBLINGS HUGGING WHILE GAZING AT THE SUNSET" SHOTwww.motherhoodandmore.com

What you see: Our three loving children bonding over the beautiful sunset view at Crater Lake.

What you don't see: Me working through one child's emotional crisis in the car ten minutes before this moment, and two children fighting so badly ten minutes after this moment that I made them sit in the car together at the campground until they hugged and made up.

We love to travel as a family and our kids are generally great, but they're kids. And parenting doesn't stop when you're on vacation, alas.

It's not that these photos don't show an accurate picture of reality. These were real, honest, lovely snippets in time filled with joy and wonder. But it's also reality that they were bookended with not-so-lovely moments. Such is life. Especially with children, God love 'em.

So don't be jealous of people's idyllic family vacation photos. I guarantee their trips have as much normal family drama as yours do, even if their photos don't show it.

And why would they? We take pictures because we want to remember the good times, not the annoying ones. And over time, the whining, arguing, and complaining that come with traveling all melt away, and what we're left with is the beautiful memories we've chosen to capture and hold onto.

We just need to remember that when we're looking at someone else's highlight reel, we're definitely not seeing the whole picture.

All images provided by Bombas

We can all be part of the giving movement

True

We all know that small acts of kindness can turn into something big, but does that apply to something as small as a pair of socks?

Yes, it turns out. More than you might think.

A fresh pair of socks is a simple comfort easily taken for granted for most, but for individuals experiencing homelessness—they are a rare commodity. Currently, more than 500,000 people in the U.S. are experiencing homelessness on any given night. Being unstably housed—whether that’s couch surfing, living on the streets, or somewhere in between—often means rarely taking your shoes off, walking for most if not all of the day, and having little access to laundry facilities. And since shelters are not able to provide pre-worn socks due to hygienic reasons, that very basic need is still not met, even if some help is provided. That’s why socks are the #1 most requested clothing item in shelters.

homelessness, bombasSocks are a simple comfort not everyone has access to

When the founders of Bombas, Dave Heath and Randy Goldberg, discovered this problem, they decided to be part of the solution. Using a One Purchased = One Donated business model, Bombas helps provide not only durable, high-quality socks, but also t-shirts and underwear (the top three most requested clothing items in shelters) to those in need nationwide. These meticulously designed donation products include added features intended to offer comfort, quality, and dignity to those experiencing homelessness.

Over the years, Bombas' mission has grown into an enormous movement, with more than 75 million items donated to date and a focus on providing support and visibility to the organizations and people that empower these donations. These are the incredible individuals who are doing the hard work to support those experiencing —or at risk of—homelessness in their communities every day.

Folks like Shirley Raines, creator of Beauty 2 The Streetz. Every Saturday, Raines and her team help those experiencing homelessness on Skid Row in Los Angeles “feel human” with free makeovers, haircuts, food, gift bags and (thanks to Bombas) fresh socks. 500 pairs, every week.

beauty 2 the streetz, skid row laRaines is out there helping people feel their beautiful best

Or Director of Step Forward David Pinson in Cincinnati, Ohio, who offers Bombas donations to those trying to recover from addiction. Launched in 2009, the Step Forward program encourages participation in community walking/running events in order to build confidence and discipline—two major keys to successful rehabilitation. For each marathon, runners are outfitted with special shirts, shoes—and yes, socks—to help make their goals more achievable.

step forward, helping homelessness, homeless non profitsRunning helps instill a sense of confidence and discipline—two key components of successful recovery

Help even reaches the Front Street Clinic of Juneau, Alaska, where Casey Ploof, APRN, and David Norris, RN give out free healthcare to those experiencing homelessness. Because it rains nearly 200 days a year there, it can be very common for people to get trench foot—a very serious condition that, when left untreated, can require amputation. Casey and Dave can help treat trench foot, but without fresh, clean socks, the condition returns. Luckily, their supply is abundant thanks to Bombas. As Casey shared, “people will walk across town and then walk from the valley just to come here to get more socks.”

step forward clinic, step forward alaska, homelessness alaskaWelcome to wild, beautiful and wet Alaska!

The Bombas Impact Report provides details on Bombas’s mission and is full of similar inspiring stories that show how the biggest acts of kindness can come from even the smallest packages. Since its inception in 2013, the company has built a network of over 3,500 Giving Partners in all 50 states, including shelters, nonprofits and community organizations dedicated to supporting our neighbors who are experiencing- or at risk- of homelessness.

Their success has proven that, yes, a simple pair of socks can be a helping hand, an important conversation starter and a link to humanity.

You can also be a part of the solution. Learn more and find the complete Bombas Impact Report by clicking here.

popular

Woman left at the altar by her fiance decided to 'turn the day around’ and have a wedding anyway

'I didn’t want to remember the day as complete sadness.'

via Pixabay

The show must go on… and more power to her.

There are few things that feel more awful than being stranded at the altar by your spouse-to-be. That’s why people are cheering on Kayley Stead, 27, from the U.K. for turning a day of extreme disappointment into a party for her friends, family and most importantly, herself.

According to a report in The Metro, on Thursday, September 15, Stead woke up in an Airbnb with her bridemaids, having no idea that her fiance, Kallum Norton, 24, had run off early that morning. The word got to Stead’s bridesmaids at around 7 a.m. the day of the wedding.

“[A groomsman] called one of the maids of honor to explain that the groom had ‘gone.’ We were told he had left the caravan they were staying at in Oxwich Bay (the venue) at 12:30 a.m. to visit his family, who were staying in another caravan nearby and hadn’t returned. When they woke in the morning, he was not there and his car had gone,” Jordie Cullen wrote on a GoFundMe page.

Keep ReadingShow less
Pop Culture

As people mourn the death of Coolio, a video resurfaced showing just how cool he was

Not many college kids get to say Coolio performed 'Gangsta's Paradise' in their dorm room.

As people mourn the death of Coolio, resurfaced video show how cool he was.

There aren't too many people who haven't heard the song "Gangsta's Paradise" by Coolio. It quickly climbed the charts after it was used in the soundtrack of the movie "Dangerous Minds" and brings nostalgia anytime it comes on the radio. Following Coolio's unexpected death, it's no wonder the song is being played again. But one user had a unique experience with the late rapper, and his 2013 video has resurfaced on YouTube showing Coolio hanging out with the group of England's University of Central Lancashire students in their dorm room.

Keep ReadingShow less
via UNSW

This article originally appeared on 07.10.21


Dr. Daniel Mansfield and his team at the University of New South Wales in Australia have just made an incredible discovery. While studying a 3,700-year-old tablet from the ancient civilization of Babylon, they found evidence that the Babylonians were doing something astounding: trigonometry!

Most historians have credited the Greeks with creating the study of triangles' sides and angles, but this tablet presents indisputable evidence that the Babylonians were using the technique 1,500 years before the Greeks ever were.


Keep ReadingShow less