"May I bring Pippi's book and my colouring pages too, Mom?" - Maddalena, our daughter, asks me.
She is excited.
We have planned a few days off, far from our madding hectic daily routines, in order to experience a slower and more relaxed pace.
We're heading North, towards the mountains, the forests, the lush green parks and the tinkling sounds of brooks and waterfalls.
We live close enough to the Alps to enjoy this kind of landscape at a two hours' car ride from where we live. The place we are going to is so easily reached that it takes less time to go there than to pack our stuff!
But you know, when you have kids, you tend to discard long-distance vacation destinations.
While M. is packing her toys and books, carefully choosing what to bring with her on the journey to the mountains, I try to put together our snacks and sandwiches for the road trip.
I rely on a fresh loaf of bread, spread a few slices with roasted peanut butter and stuff them with baby spinach leaves, basil and cucumber. At the very last moment I add some sundried tomatoes, to boost the flavour.
As I already know Maddalena won't eat it, I cut some vegetables (carrots+cucumbers) and pick a few items she may like from the pantry: dried fruits (coconut, apples and raisins) and puffed cereals bars.
Our travel snack pack almost done, I get to collect the very last items we need to bring with us.
Though I have organized things properly this time, I now I will forget something at home - it's quite typical of me - but I don't bother too much.
I know it will be ok. Even in the worst case - even if I actually forgot something REALLY important, our destination is so close I could even come back and get it...