I Was Thinking…
It’s time for our annual “because we homeschool so we can” getaway. We take advantage of the reduced prices after Labor Day and go to a resort I used to stay at as a kid. Canary Beach Resort! It’s just a small place with pretty cabins on a quiet lake. Most of the kids love it and the grown-ups mostly love it!
Transition is always hard for a couple of our kids so it can be bumpy at times. The bumpy times are the times when the grown-ups only mostly love it. This once a year trip is really about finding balance for our family. While it would be easier for some of our kids if we stayed home, the other kids would miss out on such a great experience.
So, in order to make it work we have to be ultra intentional! We stay in the same cabins every year. The kids sleep in the same rooms every year. We bring lots of their stuff from home. We eat the same thing for breakfast, lunch and dinners as at home. We have the same beach toys. We keep the same schedule for waking and sleeping. We even keep some of the same chores. We paint the picture of years past as reminders of what they can expect this year too. It really helps to keep the anxiety to a dull roar.
Of course, there are some differences like the lake right outside your front door. And we can’t control some things like the weather so there are bumps. But after almost 10 years of going there and creating a predictable experience, it has become pretty uneventful! Which I guess tells us it meets everyone where they are at!
The most interesting part to me is that as I look back to when we went there as a family versus as I bring my family now it is a VERY different picture! I really have to do it differently to make it work for my family. As a kid, the resort was much bigger. Not in acreage - just in my experience of it. My cousins and I went from the playground to the game room to the tall field of flowers to the lake and back around again. But, unlike what some of my children would do, we checked in with our parents, we regulated our bodies – what we ate, drank and got into. We understood nuances like how to respect other people’s campsites and other kids’ beach toys. We hadn’t lost our primary attachment figures; we hadn’t experienced trauma. So, now as an adult and a Mom of kids with multiple experiences, I have to do “it” differently! It is not good or bad….just different!
The reality is that it is still fun, relaxing and mostly peaceful. It is great family time. It is great grown-up time. It is great kid time. I am really looking forward to getting there and settling in to enjoy a few games of cards, time to read my book, the sound of the kids laughter on the dock and the sunsets over the lake. We’ll do it differently, but the canaries will still sing the same as they used to!