There are so many things my wife and I need to do before we go on vacation. Planning, packing, Organizing the home, eating the food that would otherwise spoil. Hey, it’s a tough job but somebody’s gotta do it. It’s a lot of work in addition to our full-time jobs. Nice problem to have, I admit. But this time around we have to do even more than normal because we’re not bringing our daughter. We’re fulfilling a promise we made to each other on our honeymoon and going back to Venice to celebrate our tenth anniversary. (Making our way to Paris as well.)
It’s a dream vacation. Once in a lifetime. But before we live that dream, we need to consider a worst possible nightmare. Before we check out of reality, we are faced with a sobering reality check. We realized we needed to update our will. Because God forbid if something happens to the both of us.
This is a necessary evil. Something for which we all have to plan. It’s inevitable. I just didn’t want to think about it before getting on a trans-Atlantic flight. (I will knock on wood after I write this, but I don’t think anticipate anything happening to us.)
So there I was, on the phone with our attorney. He recalled that the last time we met him to initially draw up the will, I carried our daughter into his office in her car seat. She sat there quietly then nodded off to sleep while we discussed things for an hour or more. She’s six now. Things, and times, have changed. People have changed. So we were considering changes. Changes we’d have to sign off on the day before we leave.
When we decided in January to take this plunge and plan this trip, we went back and forth over whether to bring our daughter. She’s well-behaved. She’s easily entertained. But she’s also a child. This trip is going to be a lot of things, but relaxing is not one of them. There will be a lot of walking, train travel, eating on the go, living out of suitcases. That’s what we wanted. That’s not a trip for a child. Also, while there are learning opportunities had we taken her, we didn’t feel she would truly appreciate it. And that’s a lot of money to spend for a maybe, for a kid who might not like the pizza in Italy because it tastes different.
One of the consequences of our decision? Besides guilt, debt, and knowing we’ll miss her? Updating the will. Ya gotta do it every few years. Five tops. This was as good an excuse as any for us to get it done.
Justin is a husband, dad, and writer who also blogs at Daddy Knows Less.