Every holiday season brings both wonderful times and challenging family situations for most of us, my family included. This past holiday season included the first visit to our home of my in-laws, the first time my sons and I would be apart, and the first time my wife and I would be apart during this festive time of the year. Can I say I learned more about our relationships? You bet. Was it easy and fun? You be the judge.
Let’s start with the in-laws. Like many things, I had expectations about how we’d all relate and get along, mostly based on our previous visits together at their home in Vancouver, B.C. But, as I never seem to learn or remember, expectations rarely turn out as expected. In this case, I am very pleased to say they turned out better.
Remembering Chevy Chase in those summer vacations movies reminds me of the fact that most so-called “family vacations” are, at best, vacations for the kids and torture for the parents. I’m generalizing, of course, but most generalizations as well as clichés, have a strong basis in truth. I stand by the proposition that we parents usually need a vacation after our family one, if only to recover and rest.
This summer my younger son, David, got to spend several weeks at the sleep- away camp he loves, while my older son, Will, is indulging his passion for rock ‘n’ roll at a Rock School where he’s taking drum lessons, and participating in numerous bands and concerts through the school. He’ll also be living, figuratively, in our garage with his own band, driving the nearby horses crazy, or am I mistaking their thrashing about as dancing?