Friday, August 10, 2007


My Summer Vacation

So, the trip was lots of fun. It was J, his daughter, my kids, and their friend and his two teenage girls. I'm sure some of you remember, a few posts down, I wrote about how I had been experiencing a wee bit of PMS.... Remember? Yes. Well. If you don't, I'm reminding you now, because those three letters figure in quite a bit. Not hugely - but enough.

So anyhow.

We got up to Lake George fairly early and went straight to the lake. J had said: "It's so great, we bring down beer, soda, chips and hang out on the dock. We're at the lake all day! It's fun, relaxing, just so nice!" Sounds super, right? Food? Beer? Relaxation? Sun? One thing he didn't think of - and neither did I, for that matter: My kids are younger than his. I can't sit and relax. I can't read a book. I can't snooze. I have to be down there, in the lake, in the water, playing, encouraging, and watching. See that photo? Like that.

So that was one.

Then two. I'm fair skinned. I'm really fair skinned. I haven't been out in the sun for such long periods of time since I was a teenager and slathered my body in coconut oil trying to get that deep down Tropical Tan.... That was a lot of sun.

And then....

I thought I'd like to hang out at the lake all day. I really did. But when it came down to it... I started to get... a little.... bored. I wasn't relaxing. I wasn't reading. I was sitting and watching my kids frolic. Yes, yes, it was broken up with the odd jet ski ride... and yes, yes, what parent doesn't lovelovelove watching their children grow, learn and have fun.... but heck. There's only so many "Mom! Look at me! Over here! Look now! Watch me! Max splashed me! Nathan splashed me! Look at this great rock! Hold it for me!"s you can hear. To make for a relaxing vacation... if you know what I mean.

And if I sound like I'm being petty and complaining... maybe I am. And also, those three little letters were always there.... lurking in the background. PMS.

How can I describe PMS for those of you who haven't experienced it....? It's a total annoyance and discomfort with the world. It's a constant agitated and sort of itchy feeling. It's the feeling where you just want to go into your bed & pull the covers over your head. It's like what I said to J "Just take a rubber mallet, hit me over the head, and put me out of my misery." It's just a horrible unsettled feeling, totally on edge, and everything that happens is magnified. Little things become bigger. Huge. Gigantic. Massive.

So, I said to J - Hey - could we do something else? Break up the day? Not spend so much time at the Lake? You could have heard a pin drop. "This is how we've always done it."

Oh. Then it dawned on me... I was on their vacation. The one they've done the same way for about six years. They have their traditions. Their plans. Their schedule. That did not really sit well with my pmsed self. I felt excluded. I felt like a (welcomed) guest on somebody else's trip.

Then, if you don't mind, lets go back to the age of my kids and the age of theirs. 5 (me) and 13 (them). 7 (me) and 18 (them). Now, the kids all got along great, and it was so cool for me to watch my kids interacting with the "big" kids, and seeing the big kids being so kind and helpful with them. It was really super.


They do things until late in the night. Fireworks, shopping, hanging out. My kids can do it, but they (me) will pay the price the next day. (no, they don't sleep late. They alwaysalwaysalways wake up the same time.) So when J said "Oh, lets go to the fireworks, it will be fun!" I snapped: "Sure, fun for everybody but what about tomorrow when they're cranky?! This is MY vacation to and I don't want to spend it with cranky kids!"

Can you hear it? Can you imagine it? You know, these aren't big things... but PMS blow them up. I snap. He's upset. I'm upset because then I don't know what to do. Let them stay up? Hang out? See what happens? Make the next day even worse? Am I being rational, or is this a decision being made with PMS brain?

Oy yoy, yoy. I know. You're tired already. This is long & lots of details... but that's kind of what it was like. Dealing with all these new things. Me coming on his family vacation. Him dealing with younger kids & somebody who doesn't like all they things they usually did... It was tough. It was a transition. Complicated by hormones.

Butcha know - (and here's the cool part! Aren't you glad you made it down this far??!) We did it. And we talked about it. And we bickered, and we talked about it. And by the end... you know... I felt so much more secure and solid about our relationship. About our families. Because this wasn't a throw-away vacation. We didn't just say "oh, lets just forget it - you do one thing, I'll do another..." We talked, listened, compromised... and it was good.

1 comment:

Lisa said...

Can absolutely sympathise with the PMS - been there done that got the T-Shirt (I particularly like the one that says "I have PMS and a gun. Now what did you want to argue about?")
It was a tricky situation in many ways but I'm glad things worked out well.