We just returned from a truly wonderful vacation. I took the family back East (Boston, Portland, Round Pond) for almost the whole month of August. We saw most of our family, got to welcome baby Jacob into the world, and many of our oldest friends.
It was a true vacation in every sense. The children both came into their own. Ruby, discovering her roll in our family (nuclear and extended), found her inner sweetness (best self) and showed an unexpected degree of maturity, self reliance, and empathy. This was best expressed when she was shepherding her brother around, pointing out dangers, explaining tricks and relationships, and helping him get his needs met.
Miles started talking up a storm. At first it was a few new words each day. By the end of the trip it seemed he was repeating every new word that he heard. He also developed his counter will during the trip. Any parent who has kids over 2 probably just inhaled deeply. To tell the truth Vick and I are both taking it much more lightly than we did with Ru. Perhaps its the perspective of having one out and one in (Ruby now says “I wouldn’t do that mommy because I wouldn’t want to make you angry with me”), or perhaps its the perspective of knowing that it won’t last forever, but we’re both much more inclined to laugh it off, and play around his defiance than we were the first time around. In any case, it feels much better not to fight it.
As for Victoria and I, this was clearly the change we needed. Having both of us present (emotionally as well as physically) for each other and the family was invaluable to our recharging. I believe it has also provided the environment the kids needed to evolve.
Perhaps the most unexpected outcome of vacation was that I was neither glad to leave New England, nor anxious about my return to work. Tuesday morning seemed just like any other day, and my re-entry to work has been stress free.
Let’s hope this familial peace abides!