Friday, July 13, 2012

Summer Vacation

It was the best of times; it was the worst of times.

It was family vacation.

It's an experience that has taken on a mythology all its own in our culture: sun-kissed children frolicking in the waves (or the snow, or at the themepark), loading up the station wagon (or minivan or SUV), togetherness, memories that will last a lifetime.

As with childbirth -- an experience which likewise has taken on its own mythology -- we find ourselves, when the ordeal is done, looking at photos of our adorable children and smiling wistfully.  Forgetting all the bloody, painful trauma, the hurled recriminations, the vows (made in the thick of things) to never, ever do it again.

We rented the same lovely little house we've rented for the past few years. It's close to the beach and full of charm, and even bunny-friendly.

Seduced by the idea of sun, shore and seafood, I was looking forward to the trip. I'd forgotten that familiarity breeds contempt, and after four weeks at home since school let out for the summer, my family would be both excessively familiar and excessively contemptuous with me.

Of course we had fun, but there were times when all that family togetherness seemed like too much.  (I mean, how many times in a week can two tweeners and a teen roll their eyes? Apparently in excess of five hundred.  Each.)

So next time I shall endeavor to remember the importance of going out on my own for at least one or two expeditions during the week; getting in more solo walks, whether around the neighborhood or on the beach; bringing my headphones to better tune out the exasperated chorus of "Mo-om!"

Most importantly, I shall remember that just an instant ago, they looked like this

and this

and because of all this family togetherness (or perhaps "despite all this family togetherness") family vacations are indeed some of the most special times of our lives.


Karen said...

Cape May, right? We were there last week, too! I was actually thinking, I wonder if the Go Knit in Your Hat blogger is here somewhere...

Anonymous said...

I do loves me a woman who tells the truff of things.

Ali P said...

Isn't it funny how we capture in photos and in our memories the happy memories and joys of this experience and it TRICKSES us into doing it all over again to the same reality? We really need to take those pictures and videos of the squabbling and eye rolling and remembering why some wild animals consume their young to keep us real. ;oP You vacation looks awesome by the way. :oD