A little extra thought and planning can make those trips the kind we want to remember.
Posted in , Aug 1, 2016
Our three sons are grown and have families of their own now. So those occasions when we plan a big family vacation, and I have everyone under one roof, are beyond special to me. We usually rent a big house or villa where we can all stay together, and I’ll tell you, with 14-17 people inhabiting one space, there are no dull moments.
But, oh my, how I love the sweetness of grandbabies fresh from their baths, watching them play together, having them crawl into my bed for early morning snuggles. And I love watching my adult children relax, lingering over a cup of coffee or tea together, talking with them without anybody being in a hurry.
Those are the moments that wrap themselves around my heart.
But I’ve also learned that a little extra thought and planning can make those trips the kind that we want to remember, so I thought I’d share a few of those tips with you:
1) Don’t expect perfection.
Know that your time together probably won’t be perfect. Babies and toddlers will cry and whine (and maybe a few adults as well). If everyone is staying in one house, some will be fine with a little clutter, and it will drive others nuts. Compromise and have realistic expectations. That can make a big difference.
2) Plan time alone to regroup.
Understand that some family members (particularly those who are introverts) might need some space or time alone to regroup. It doesn’t mean they don’t love you—that’s just how they’re wired.
3) Take turns planning outings.
Everyone has different interests when it comes to entertainment and restaurants. Take turns making choices. That way you’ll have enough variety so that all family members will enjoy themselves.
The time together is what is important. Sometimes there will be aggravations—like the rainy afternoon at the villa when all six little ones are crying or the time that five out of the ten of you will get sick on the trip—but those will become your funny memories down the road. (I mean, not everybody gets a tour of the emergency room while they’re at the beach!)
So make memories this summer. Take plenty of pictures. Laugh together. Share hugs. And soak in the sweetness of time spent with your precious one-of-a-kind family.
The memories you make this summer (and in every other season) will bind your hearts together and will become the moments you laugh about 20, 30 or even 40 years down the road.