Even on vacation you learn lessons about life’s ups and downs!

Even on vacation you learn lessons about life’s ups and downs!

My family and I were very fortunate to be able to go on a 10-day Hawaii vacation last week, we had been planning it for 5 years. My husband and I got married in Hawaii 5 years ago, just the two of us, the boys were only 8 and 6 at the time so we told them when they were old enough to remember the trip and could tackle the very long flights, we would all go back. Well, 2023 what the year, our 5-year anniversary, my husband turned 50 this year, and my oldest son turned 13 while we were there.

I booked every excursion I thought our family would enjoy, ATV tour, snorkeling, tour around the island, a luau, and a surprise swim with dolphins for my son’s birthday. We were all very excited and couldn’t wait for our dream trip. I am pleased to say all our flights (3 to get there and 3 to get home) were on time, which made the journey even better. 

The first day we had a pretty relaxing day, went to a beautiful white beach and then to a luau that night, we were all still adjusting to the 6-hour time difference. The second day we had an amazing snorkeling trip. It was so much fun to watch the excitement in the boys’ faces to see such amazing fish. Then that night they wanted to go night swimming, about 30 mins into the swimming my older son came running to us “Something happened to Easton!” we jumped up and behind him was Easton holding his mouth and blood was everywhere. Braxton says “he was on the slide and a girl came down and swiped his feet and he fell face first, his tooth is gone” my husband grabs Easton trying to see what was happening and I jump in the pool to try and find his tooth, if I learned anything from sports, if a tooth comes out find it. Another dad at the pool ran to find ice. Then Easton says, “I think it’s still in my mouth.” And that it was pushed all the way into his gums.

I will save you all the details, but we ended up spending 6 hours in the emergency room and the next day at the dentist to find out that the body will try to push the tooth back down and it’s a waiting game before they can brace it, finish pulling it down, and fix the tooth.

The next day as you can imagine Easton was not himself, it looks as if his tooth was missing it was pushed so far up, luckily, he was not in pain but had swollen lips, and on an antibiotic due to the gash in his mouth. At this point we still had a full week left of vacation.

This was where the opportunity to teach both our kids, my husband and myself about life came in:

  1. We learned how to be grateful. As we sat in the emergency room, we talked about how we are very grateful that overall, he is healthy and how fortunate he was not to break his nose, jaw, other teeth, etc. In times when bad things happen sometimes it’s hard to find things to be grateful for but there is always something, always.
  2. The next day we talked about how he was allowed to feel his feelings, be upset, mad, sad, angry, embarrassed, and all the other feelings going through his head. Instead of brushing over how he was feeling and telling him everything was going to be okay, we told him that he is allowed to feel how he feels and that we were there for him to talk about his feelings.
  3. The last lesson we were able to teach him was, life is always going to have unexpected events, less than ideal situations, and accidents, and we have a choice on how we react to them. We could sit in the hotel room and feel bad for ourselves over the situation that we have no control over, or we can make the best of the time that we have left. We had all been looking forward to this trip and had so much excitement around it, we could choose to dwell in the misfortune, or we could embrace the fact that we were still in Hawaii and still had amazing things planned. And that is exactly what we did. We enjoyed the rest of our trip and our time together.


I tell you all this to hopefully give you some perspective that when you encounter one of life’s “lows” you can always change how you react and choose something different. Of course, I wish none of this happened and that he didn’t have to go through the traumatic experience and the next few months of trying to fix it, but I can’t turn back time. Many events in our life we have no control over, yet we let them dictate our moods, our decisions, and they steal our joy. This is why living in the present is so important. I don’t want to miss out on the now because I am worried about the past or anxious about the future.

Think about your life, are you letting a situation that you have no control over control you? If you are I would highly recommend you start practicing gratitude and meditation. Practicing gratitude helps you look for all the good in your life and meditation is a great way to learn how to be present.


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1 comment

Very wise advice! I’m glad Easton is alright and he is so lucky to have such great parents! A great life lesson for sure! Thanks for sharing!

Joanne Tressel-Engelhardt

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