Recently, my family and I went on vacation. Yes, thank you, it was lovely. Getting away from the laundry, cooking, cleaning, and cold weather is always a good thing. And this time I was able to check a destination off my bucket list: Aruba. If you’ve never been, I suggest you put it on your list too. It’s a must see if only for the constant 87 degrees and no humidity.
Unfortunately, I have a very bad habit. I put the dreaded weight of expectations on my events and often times the people I interact with. For example, when you’re driving up to the that red, octagon shaped sign with large white letters in the center I expect you to STOP. (I’m actually referring to the very bad driver that lives in my development and either hasn’t passed his/her driver’s test or can’t read. I’m not sure which.) But I digress.
Let’s get back to vacation. A much nicer place to be. How blessed we were to spend this time together on a tropical island. What a wonderful chance to put aside our everyday life and enjoy each other’s company. Here would be a chance to laugh together, share special moments we could reflect on with a feeling of warmth. The Universe had presented an opportunity to connect as a family because our time together is so limited. A family vacation would provide a peaceful sharing of love for one another.
I entered the fantasy world of greeting cards where sprites float through the air and candy canes pop out of the ground. I forgot for a brief moment I have two children the ages of 13 and 12. What in the world was I thinking?
They didn’t care they were on vacation. They were going to fight just like we were still in the midst of a cold spring in New Jersey and my plans for bonding be damned. Didn’t they know what this vacation was supposed to mean? Couldn’t they read my mind? Feel my maternal vibes drifting over them? Uh..no. And they shouldn’t. They are supposed to fight. They’re siblings. And my mother has often reminded me how my sister and I fought all through the years we were growing up. We just never got to fight in Aruba.
I’m still learning to release my choke hold on expectations. It isn’t easy, but I’m getting there. (Bad driving excluded.) It’s okay my kids didn’t hold hands and skip along the beach. I’m mean, that would’ve been a little weird, no? Even with the barking of two adolescents, we were able to laugh, share, and be together. We still have the memories of time spent with each other floating in the pool, on the beach with sand between our toes, and in front of a sunset. No one and nothing is perfect. My kids don’t have to be either. As long as we’re together. (Cue the sprites and candy canes, please!)
So, my faithful reader, what are your best and worst family vacation memories? Was it worth it?