Friday, August 20, 2010

Driving and Zipping and Rafting, Oh My!

I was home, and then I was home again.

In between, over the course of 5 nights and 6 whirlwind days I was captive in a car for a total of 17 hours dipping our wheels in four different states; I minigolfed, badmintoned not-too-terribly (did I mention I have no hand-eye coordination so, yes, this was actually one of the more difficult of all the "feats" for me), ziplined and whitewater rafted, and in between all that, I had a few gloriously-quiet and relaxing swims.
Of course, it was only the latter that felt like the traditional definition of vacation, but I'm not complaining.

I am neither an athlete nor a daredevil, and I am the only girl in the house. One of the main reasons I plan these "non-stop, on-the-go" vacations is to give my two boys -- 12, and about to turn 15 -- a true chance to bond.

The truth is, they are very different boys with very different interests, and at home, with other options at their fingertips, they don't always spend the kind of quality time together I had hoped they would.

But shoved in a car with new things on the horizon, there is truly the need and opportunity to bond. To cuddle up together. And to find common ground.

And, yet, despite the dollars spent on ziplines and raft excursions and 40 ft. ropes courses, this vacation that opportunity was found in the simplest of places: in the car (okay, only on the ride there) and on the badminton court at our hotel.

There were silly, fun, exhausting matches of us against them (we lost, we lost, and, er, we lost), and, more importantly, there were Federer-Nadal quality matches between them that lasted more than two hours.

In the end, the older son bettered the younger son by a few mere points, which in our house is a very good and important thing.

But most of all there was good sportsmanship, a sheer joy at playing with one another, and, most importantly, talks about wanting to find a badminton league here where they can be a team and "destroy" everyone else TOGETHER.

For me, the vacation had high highs (I am now officially a zipline addict) and low lows (sometimes, in a family of three men, I am the only one to rally to do anything and everything, and yet, still, the far less appreciated and, -- harder -- the less "wanted" parent).

But the knowledge that my boys, for a few short days, bonded and admired each other, was well worth the money, the heartache and the trip. And, my own personal exhilaration was a bonus.



  1. I was there and I could never say it as well. That's just one of the benefits of having you, the only girl, in our family. :)

  2. Aww... This makes my parental heart pound. Though my girls are at the younger end of the age spectrum, I can relate to all of these problems and pleasures - and to being the Other Gender. I can't help that I don't know how to brush hair like a woman! NEVER DONE IT!

  3. Christopher, having been one, I think girls are different. And girls love their dads. There is no other relationship like it.

    From what I've "seen" of you so far, of how adoring and hands on you so are, you will be their personal superman. No worries there. :)