Sharing a vacation with my family and with my mom and dad is a joyous occasion. Yet, I also find it imperceptibly difficult, too.
Why? You ask.
Simple. It is hard to be the mother when your mother thinks of you as the daughter.
Role definition has never come easy to my clan. In fact, there is a running joke in the family about asking a question and getting an answer. No matter who poses the question or who is supposed to answer, inevitably, my mother answers it for him or her. Never fail! It used to make my sister and my own skin crawl when mom would do this. Now, we just shrug, giggle, and realize that mom means no harm. She is just being a mom in her own mom way.
But, when you are used to being the mom and being responsible for your own family day in and day out, it is very difficult to have someone (even if it is your loving and dear mom) try to up and take care and take control of you and yours. Next to impossible I would say. Really, even when it comes to deciding on food for dinner, my family looks to me and hubby, but mom also wants input too. Because she is, of course, always a mom first. And, even though my brain logically understands this, my heart sometimes jumps first. So, instead of two adult moms coming to a rational decision about dinner. We get one older mom with hurt feelings and one younger mom trying to balance her mom/ daughter role so that no one gets upset.
Clearly, this doesn't work.
Instead of a harmonious blend of generations, we get a cacophony of clashing roles!
We gnash teeth . . .
We walk on eggshells with our decisions. . .
We try to put ourselves in the other person's position . . .
But. . .
We fail quite often.
And, this makes for some very grumpy, very non-vacation like moments of power struggling . . . interrupted by moments of sheer,relaxing fun.
So, while not the ideal vacation every moment of every day, it is my real vacation, where my whole family gets together . . . warts and all. We may argue over who picks the activity or how to deal with a cranky, up too late toddler, but we still can laugh over me burning up all the snacks stored in the oven because I didn't check to see the oven was empty. We can still giggle over escaped naked kids running amok after a necessary sand-removing bath. We can still roar over silly squirt gun fights with the kiddies or even how my mom forgot to rinse conditioner out of her hair and only "remembered" why her hair was a bit greasy a day later. Those are some good times. Undeniably.
So, warts are good.
And, frankly, I wouldn't have my vacation wart-free for the world. Because in my book, wart-free would equal laugh-free. And boring.
Not my kind of vacation.
I'll take my vacation (and my life, for that matter) laugh-filled . . . with a large side of warts.