Thursday, July 7, 2011

when vacation is work

An hour in and the tug to pull-back began.

Grumbling and angst overwhelmed me. The noise of having a place among them was giving me a headache.

A new friend asked me if I'd had a good morning {with my groom} while the Boy-Man was at basketball camp. And without thinking, the truth came out--No! It was hard. We couldn't even get through a round of golf together without stomping off in bitter anger.

I felt the warmth in my cheeks rise up my face. Truth-telling can be embarrasing.  

Re-entry into our home after traveling for business used to be difficult. It would take a good few days for our family to settle back into the three of us, and for me to find my rhythm in being heard and respected by my little boy.

We've had a lot of practice with that re-entry since those early days when my son would run to the door in excitment over his mama returning home, and then almost seem to make me pay for leaving him by distancing himself from me the next day.

Nowadays, the Boy-Man expects the frequent trips and still just hugs me in delight when I return, though sometimes the tears well up for both of us.

Being home all day is different, though.
It takes patience to see that hard work {really does} pay-off.

Vacation days can be work.

The rhythm of every day life changes. Expectations are high that relaxing will come easily. And the thought of what full-time {re-}entry into our home will look like, doesn't cross my mind--until being home is suddenly harder than full-time work out of the home.

I wasn't prepared for the challenge--for the work vacation would require.

And maybe that's some of the point of vacation. Sometimes we need to let things settle, and sometimes it really takes work for a new rythm to develop.

As the days have been lived, our vacation-pace has found its way to the surface. The intense and busy waters have become more calm and relaxed.

The Boy-Man has let himself reach for me more often and at least once his favorite part of the day was going on a walk--With. Me. And that walk in particular, it was all about touching--holding hands, wrapping an arm around a little body, and saying I love you with the squeeze of our hands.

The Man-Boy and I have breathed easier together. We've done our share of touching and holding, and said I love you with tenderness of time-giving. We've partnered more in parenting and felt less like machines.

We've continued to practice real living during these days--I've exercised my body and mind, the Boy-Man has exercised his mind with piano and math practicing, and the Man-Boy has researched and considered improvements to our house.

Yet, we've also accepted the challenge to continue practicing relaxed living during these days--we've listened to the birds, watched fireworks while lying on our backs, kayaked and swam in refreshing water, eaten sweet foods and stayed up much too late. 

Our eyes burn from too much sun.
Our hair is blonder.
Our skin is darker.
Our hearts feel bigger.

Including today, four more days remain of our first week of vacation together. It's taken time for us to adjust to time-together, and it'll take a bit for us to adjust back to the *whirl and twirl* of living a bit more distanced. But it's all important--a necessary part of the process in building and sustaining relationships.

I'm Seeing the importance in this time off.

It hasn't been easy, and the next batch of weeks off might be work to vacation. Still, though, I See how the slowed down, deliberate carving-out-of-time for togetherness really does bring us closer to each other.

The typical every day schedules keep us distant, and the natural inclination is to be firm and rigid. But vacation has this way of exposing the soul and making ourselves available--for play, hugs, touching, loving--in a way like no other. Firm becomes soft again.

Thank you, Father, for the space in our Now for vacation-days, and for what these days do to our relationships. I See that the *work* in time together is So. Very. Necessary.


  1. This reminds me of a time when my husband's work required him to travel about 30% of the year. I'd get used to the time he spent away. And, after he'd been home for awhile, I'd find myself asking, "So...don't you have somewhere you need to go?" :-)

  2. Nice post. Yes, vacation does expose the soul. Unfortunately, I don't usually like what I find. :)