I sat at the kitchen table at my parents' house in Cedar City, wracking my brain and trying to figure out a way to make our family vacation not a total bust.
We were supposed to spend this particular week at Lake Powell, our family’s favorite place to visit. However, some things came up at the last minute that changed our plans.
Sure, we were able to spend a couple of days boating on a small, local lake, we took the kids to a movie, swam at a hotel and had a great time bowling with Grandpa, but it wasn't the week we were accustomed to. In my mind, it wasn't memorable.
Since I was a little girl, Lake Powell represented seemingly endless days of playing in the sand, water skiing, jumping off the houseboat, swimming and immersing myself in a world free of worries while I made memories to last a lifetime. And while my time at the lake has most definitely changed as I have become a parent of several children, adding a bit more stress, this place I love so much still embodied so much good that I was able to look past that. After all, I was passing to my own children something I cherished from my childhood so they could have memories like I did.
Missing out on this trip made me feel like a failure as a parent because, as hard as I tried, in my mind I wasn't providing experiences that even came close to what Lake Powell provided, and we would surely return home unsatisfied. I needed to find something that would create memories to last a lifetime, and fast.
With a three-hour drive ahead of us that was full of mostly freeway and rural towns, I knew my options were limited. Just then, I remembered a friend telling me about some hot springs near Fillmore called Meadow Hot Springs.
Hot springs in August? What did we have to lose except a few pounds of sweat? I also figured we would reach the springs by about noon, and would likely have the hot water and 90-plus degree weather to ourselves.
I was right.
When we reached the springs, it was very evident that we were the only ones there. And the icing on the cake was that the springs were not hot at all, but quite warm and lovely.
For the next hour, the kids swam, splashed and jumped into the perfect temperature water. They played together, encouraged one another, and for a moment, I knew that all their worries were gone — at least mine were.
Sure, it wasn't Lake Powell, but as I watched my children, I felt completely satisfied. This was exactly what our family needed. We were making our own memories, ones that would last a lifetime.
Arianne Brown is a mother of seven young children who loves hearing and sharing stories. For more of her writings, search “A Mother’s Write” on Facebook. She can be contacted at email@example.com. Twitter: A_Mothers_Write