Our gang just got back from a long weekend of white water rafting! I actually took my computer with me thinking that I might post while away, but ..... you know, the best laid plans of mice and men! It is very different vacationing with adult children versus young children! Years ago, when we would travel it was fun. It was always a change of pace and I got a lot of joy out of watching the kids' faces as they experienced new things. Vacation was not a vacation for me though. Very often, I would work harder than ever when we went somewhere. Whether we stayed in a vacation home and cooked or we at in restaurants, it was a lot of work to herd the kids and make sure they behaved.
I taught them early on that we were overwhelming by sheer numbers. No matter where we went, we drew a lot of attention just because of how many of us there are. People were usually surprised at how well the kids behaved, and they really did. Sometimes waiting for a table in a restaurant took a lot longer because of the size of our group and that had the potential for restless children. I was pretty excited a few years ago when we were in Chicago that one of the restaurants there has a line strictly for large parties. It was a very short line and we were seated quickly!
Anyway, it has been a long time since I smiled as much as I did this weekend. I still did some organizing and work but it was nothing like it used to be. It was fun to sit back and watch the kids interact with each other on a completely different level, as adults. There personalities are strong and there were a few "moments" but they figured it out. On a couple of instances, I talked to one of them when they were stressed or a little out of line, but it was no big deal. I have always maintained that my children love each other but that their relationships with each other belong to them. I do NOT force them to be best friends. I simply insist that they conduct themselves in a socially acceptable manner when they are together. It has worked for us all these years, and tends to make large family gatherings a lot more fun.
I am proud of how strong each person is, and how unique each one is. There are no "Cookie Cutter" kids in our house! There is a common thread that runs through them, but each one is uniquely constructed. I have gotten used to the personalities and manage the treacherous waters fairly well. So, when I say we went white water rafting, it involves more than the river! We have started to make these play dates an annual event and I am thrilled. I love having as many of us together for these as we can get.
We rafted on two different days and I loved hearing the stories for each event. The experiences were completely different for each person and in each group! As we stood in the bar, watching the videotape of the Saturday trip, I couldn't stop smiling as I looked around. Later that evening, I hugged "Doc" and said "We have something pretty amazing here!" That's my mushiness for the day! Here's my advice, make sure you save up and take some sort of a trip with your kids as they grow up and when they are adults. It puts you on a completely different level than the "normal" days. Even though you work hard when they are little, it is enjoyable. When they are grown up, it is a hoot!!!! Thanks gang for another great trip!!!!
Wife, Mother, Mother, Mother, Mother, Mother, Mother, Mother, Nurse, Grandmother, Friend...that's me in a nutshell!