Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Family Vacation

Over the 25 years of my marriage, I have not been a great in-law.  Not that I've been a bad one (I hope), but my effort has been lacking.  No doubt I could find any number of excuses, but I cannot claim any good reasons.


Nor can I explain my sudden thought, in March, to reach out.  But whatever the impetus, I suggested that my husband Brad and I pool two of our accumulated timeshare weeks to trade for enough space to house the 12 people in our family and his sisters' families for a joint summer vacation.  My thought was to find a spot in the Midwest--where Beth's and Debbie's families live--so they, with younger children, could more readily travel with their kids and paraphernalia by car while we would fly.  And that we'd land at a place with two units available, one of the few weeks all of us were free, where there'd be plenty to entertain families with children ages 2 to 23.  Everyone said yes immediately and agreed on possible weeks and geographies--and I found the place.  Close enough that my husband's parents also could drive in to join us for some of the vacation.  And only about an hour from Brad's first cousin and her family of six...who happened to have her sister's family of five visiting during an overlapping weekend.

When you reach out, it would seem, the world really can manage to reach back.

What a week we enjoyed.  The core twelve of us did things together and apart, within and in various mixes of our nuclear families, with cousins deepening their relationships with each other and with their aunts and uncles.

On August 2, my in-laws having joined us, there were 14 to celebrate our niece's birthday right on time, our daughter's about a week late, and my father-in-law's two weeks early.

We spent the final Saturday on the water:  23 siblings and cousins (the local cousin and their visiting cousin families now joined with us), ages 1 to 55, on two boats, for eight hours, with every one of us loving every minute.  How often does that happen?

Twenty-five years ago, I married into a terrific family.  I've known this all along, yet I've failed to make the most of it.  I won't look back and beat myself up about the opportunities missed, and this is a family that wouldn't think to do that to me.  But I will look ahead and help make the opportunities to come, and this is a family that will appreciatively participate in doing so.

1 comment:

  1. First, here, too. Looks like you're not going to tell us, but I still say it's the Dells. ;-D