My depression era parents could be frugal to a fault, reusing aluminum foil, darning socks, and reusing paper products. One gift treasured by all of us, though, was the annual family vacation. For years this was marked by a one-two week stay at a cabin on a lake in Wisconsin or Minnesota, evolving into camping adventures in the at-that-time very modern Apache pop-up camper. However humble the lodgings, those memories are the most shared and treasured among my siblings. There is something about being confined together in wet canvas during a rainstorm that harbors camaraderie.
Mike and I are blessed and privileged to carry on the tradition even to our grandsons. This week we are all together in Hawaii, treating kids, spouses, significant others and grandkids to a week on Maui. One would think that this could excite even a morose 14-year old. But teenagers are teenagers.
Would it be different if we didn’t co-habitate 24/7? After all, vacationing should be a break from the norm. But I recall the resentment, rage, and frustration of my early teens and my heart breaks for Blue Boy. No one, including yourself, can snap you out of it. And for an indoor child, Maui may not be the best choice.
What I know now: those family vacations which exposed me to different environments were sacred. For years, when I wanted to feel peace, I recalled the quiet lapping of water on a beach outside Nisswa, Minnesota, as I rested against a birch tree.
For now, I keep my mouth shut and pray that Blue Boy will look back with awe at the gifts he was given. Meanwhile, rest of the clan is having a ball!