Making Memories

We’ve been vacationing in Hilton Head for at least 15 years now. I’m pretty sure we’ve made at least one trip to the beach in each of those years, sometimes getting there twice. I’ve written before on how relaxing it can be to vacation in the same place year after year, but I do sometimes feel like we need to branch out. There are plans to visit national parks and other countries when the kids are a bit older (the thought of trying to do other trips while working around a nap schedule doesn’t sound like vacation at all). Of course, I wouldn’t be a parent if I didn’t spend some time second-guessing our decisions so I’ve had some pangs of guilt about always using our precious vacation time to visit the same place instead of exploring other areas.


The last two nights Matilda has woken up with nightmares. She won’t share what has her scared and the waking may be a side effect of her new medication, nonetheless being called into your child’s room at night can break your heart. I just want her to sleep peacefully, dreaming about all the fun things a 7 year old should dream about.

When she has a nightmare we encourage her to think of happy things, things she wants to dream about, and sometimes she asks for help. When she does ask for help, she and I will take turns offering up ideas for sweet dreams. The last two nights when I started the “dream ideas” conversation with things like “riding horses” and “ice skating” she objected. Her sleepy voice said “no, mama. I want to dream about Hilton Head.” And so we begin trading memories…

“Jumping in the waves”

“Flying kites with grandma”

“Sunday breakfast at Kenny B’s”

“Digging deep holes with daddy”

“Swimming under the stars”

“Playing Uno in the condo”

“Watching cartoons in bed”

“Grandpa giving me dollars”

“Dinner by the marsh”

“Going to the hot tub with my cousins”

“Bike rides”

“Collecting shells and watching for dolphins”…


The national parks can wait a few more years. I’m perfectly happy to return to the beach for another family vacation in a few weeks.

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