7.05.2006

Summer Shocker.. Young Mother Acquires Empathy with Own Parents after Vacationing with her Little 'Un....

Dear Mummy and Daddy,
This letter is a little bit on the late side. (Try 20 odd years). But I feel I owe you a sincere apology and a gratitude of thanks.

First, let me apologize for the many, many times on holiday when I, along with my brother, harangued you about the weather over which you had no control and whined endlessly about wanting to go to the beach, and when can we go to the beach, we want to go to the beeeeeach. it's not that cold, really... When's it going to stop RAINING?????

I commend you for finding activities for us to do despite the weather and our moaning, and always, always having swimsuits, towels, and buckets-and-spades at the ready in the back of the car at the mere offchance that the weather would turn nice. Thank you for listening when, on the way to some maritime museum, botanical gardens, or donkey sanctuary, we would scream from the backseat of the car "I can see a bit of blue in the sky, OVER THERE OVER THERE OVER THERE OVER THERE... MummyMummyMummyMummyMummy..." and then relentlessly chasing that bit of blue on the offchance it signalled a patch of sunny BEACH.

Most of all, I commend you for doing this in England, where the summer is fickle, the water fucking freezing, and the 1970s roadside facilities much to be desired...

All my Luv,
Joy


Yep, we're back. And we had a fabulous time. But let me tell you, the term "vacation" is highly contestable when time away with small kids is concerned. And it is that revelation that triggered many a flashback to my childhood, flashbacks mainly characterized by the realization that my parents were fucking saints to take us anywhere at all, and dear lord was I was a big fucking royal pain in the arse. I think my parents can fondly remember one very wet holiday in Cornwall where I spent the majority of the time glowering in the backseat of the car, endlessly listening to my Susan Vega tape on my walkman (for me, wet Cornish countryside will forever have "Marlene on the Wall" as its soundtrack).

Compared to this, my Boyo was a saintly little trooper. Thanks to the lord that Elk Farms have massive appeal at this age. (Yes, that's right. An Elk Farm. Yeah. Husband had same reaction, but he now bows before my find-meaningful-activities-for-your-preschooler parenting ability. So there). But Boyo's only approaching 4, so there's time yet. I wonder if the one I am gestating will be the surly teenage girl I always dreamed of...

25 comments:

Motherhood Uncensored said...

Welcome back, friend! I was worried that my bloglines was screwing me over, but alas you were away.

And yes I agree. Vacation with little one (while preggo and alkihol is off limits) is not vaca. :)

neva said...

i used to think we were denied a wonderful rite of passage with our kids, because, when they were growing up, we'd send them out to california to spend every summer (2 1/2 months) with their father. i see now what a blessing this was. (and all this time i thought i was being nice!)

i, for one, am VERY HAPPY to see you back, dear joy! i've missed ye greatly!! but please tell me you found a spare moment to kick back and turn a page or two of some good book. because, and i mean this in the nicest way possible, once child #2 comes along, reading for your own pleasure will be a fucking thing of the past (at least for the next few years...) oooh. but just wait 'til your next vacation! think of the fun you'll all have at that elk farm! (that's "elk", as in "animals", right? and not "elk", as in "lodge for old men"?)

WELCOME BACK JOY!! xoxox

doow said...

I don't think that my brother and I were too horrific when it came to holidays. Though there was that one time when we'd had enough of being on holiday, vetoed another stop at a caravan site on the way home and got our Dad to drive us (towing the caravan) all the way back to Kent. We were in Cornwall at the time.

Kevin Charnas said...

Glad that you're all back safe and sound...or mostly sound. :)

Parenting, full circle, huh?

Joel said...

Welcome back! There is much truth in the saying that "family vacation" is actually an oxymoron. As Neva mentioned we were "spared" the pleasure to some degree but I do recall the annual treks to DisneyWorld which provided much evidence of the aforementioned point.

macboudica said...

So true! I just got back from vacation, also, with three little ones and one teen. So today I have been laying about, vacationing from my vacation.

Mom101 said...

So glad to have you back. I think that letter should go out to every one of our parents just so they know that it does come around one day. Maybe you'll get a similar one 20-someodd years from now?

Her Bad Mother said...

Am so distracted by my glee at your return that I can't think of a single witty thing to say about your witty post.

I'll say this, though - I, for one, do wish you a surly girl. Got one myself (fully oppositional - with a big shit-eating grin - at 7 mos. old), and I'm convinced that this is enough to keep me sharp and edgy for decades. And - a deeper empathy for my own edgy parents than I could ever have imagined.

bubandpie said...

Welcome back, Joy! You've been missed 'round here in blogland - you have a way of making everything and everybody sharper and brighter.

mothergoosemouse said...

Oh how I remember family vacations, where we quickly learned to ask "When do we HAVE to leave?" instead of "When do we GET to leave?" when touring yet another colonial-era house that looks just like every other colonial-era house in New England or Williamsburg, because you know all we really cared about was getting back to the hotel pool and having yet another dinner of hamburgers and french fries.

Surly girls rule. I am one, and I bred two of them.

sweatpantsmom said...

Having kids makes you realize where the saying, "I need a vacation from my vacation" comes from.

Mega Mom said...

Fantastic. SO glad you're back.

Yes, it certainly does take being a parent to appreciate your own parents!

sunshine scribe said...

Welcome back Joy!

Loved your letter - I am feeling like I owe one to my parents too...

virtualsprite said...

Oh, yes. I totally owe my parents a note. We were horrible, too. Funny how hindsight works.

And, yay! You're back and you survived! Way to go on the elk farm, too!

Nancy said...

Welcome back. Yes, I also agree that having a family vacation really makes us appreciate all the things we put our parents through when we were kids. I think I'd better go start my letter right now...

mamatulip said...

Welcome back...from your vacation that could be considered maybe not a vacation...

MrsFortune said...

Oh I definitely owe my parents a letter like that. We were just talking about sand toys the other day, actually. And I hope your pending arrival will be sullen, moody and brooding, if that's what you want. :0)

Izzy said...

I feel your pain. I recently blogged about my own non-vacation vacation with little ones ("Vacation Postmortem") It was fun to watch the kids have a good time but man o'mighty, it was hard for me and the huz to have any real fun or rest at all.

Welcome back! Get a booze-free drink with an umbrella in it and commence relaxing NOW!

Jenny said...

Welcome back home!

I love that Suzanne Vega cd BTW.

Mocha said...

Surly?

pshaw!

Glad you had a fab time and have come to appreciate your own parents. It's a bit of a sting to come round to feeling that way, though, isn't it?

lildb said...

ooh, sista. you crazy brave lady. I applaud your aplomb. may I have such stamina when I am knocked up and dealing with a toddler.

did you manage to have *any* time for yourself? I say that, knowing the answer already. sigh. moms don't know from that phrase, huh.

I'm glad you're back, whatever the case.

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