• A is for Agape

Babbling Brooks and Wild Eyes

My parents just drove away.  My son and daughter debated for half an hour on the length of their stay, was it twelve or thirteen days that they were here.  There was no consensus but a good time was had and we were sad to see them go.  As we stood in the driveway and waved goodbye at their car, bicycles hanging precariously from a newly installed bike rack and luggage obscuring their rear window, I pondered the wonder that is the family vacation.

See, when my parents come over it is not simply sitting around the living room or dinners out, we actually try to make it an event.  I’m not sure how this began but it has continued and become somewhat of a tradition.  So, there we were, packing up our car for a week long mountain trip.  We have groceries and swimsuits and mountain bikes.  We are loaded up and ready to go.  All so that eight of us, plus a baby, can enjoy the Colorado mountain air beside a babbling stream.

Ok, that would be the ideal.  This is what actually happens.  Four cars carrying nine people drive up a mountain.  There, two men climb a large peak, yay, they love the outdoors, good for them.  The rest of us entertain ourselves however we can while simultaneously trying to meet the demanding needs of a six year old boy, a four year old girl and a six month old infant.  Men come back, they are pumped and ready for fun, we are exhausted and ready for bed.

Next day, repeat similar events and then men go home leaving women, children, and grandparents in mountain.  Here is where relaxing vacation should begin.  This is where serenity and loveliness should ensue.  After all, we are surrounded by nature, there is a babbling brook out the window, there is a view of mountain majesties.  There are also two rambunctious children, an active baby, and did I mention the adults, in themselves a handful of misfits.

Again, I have to wonder, ponder, rack my brain for a reason why we continue to do this to ourselves.  We plan, we prepare, we pack, we play hard.  And then we crash.  I’m told at the end of the trip I had wild eyes like some kind of caged animal. I don’t know what that means but it can’t be good.  Yes, family trips are fun.  They are as much an adventure in exploration as an emotional journey.  I hope we continue to do them for years to come.  I’m not sure, however, what you pack for preventing wild eyes but suggestions are welcome.


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