We just got back from spending a 4-day family getaway with Mini-me's godparents, my parents and my Aunt Elizabeth (she's my father's youngest sister, who I happened to be named after, and...YES...she happens to be a lovable DORK, too) who's visiting from Hungary for the summer.
Yes, we are ALL still speaking to each other...sort of.
My parents are not able to walk very long distances, anymore - which sucks and can make someone, who's used to always being on the go, very, very cranky - so, I asked Elizabeth if she'd like to come down to the beach with us.
"I have to ask your father, first."
Just so you know, she's 56 years-old, Europeans can get very, very cranky AND weird.
You see, my Aunt Elizabeth was only 4 years-old when her only brother (my father) fled Europe during the Hungarian Revolution in 1956. He was 19 and the next time they would see each other, he and his baby sister (a teenager now) would invariably feel like strangers and their mother was dead.
My children love my Aunt Elizabeth - even though, they can't understand a word she is saying - and their childhood, by comparison, probably seems very idyllic...to her.
Either way, having logged in an awful lot of travel time with our own parents, my husband Garth (not his real name) and I have learned that there are three things you never talk about while on a family vacation - no matter what language you speak - especially, when there ARE kids around:
THE GOOD OLD DAYS: Typically, a grandparent's lament. At least once. How things "used to be" and that "young people today" are pretty much screwed. Then, they go and forget things. Like, how they would never, ever have let you stay up that late and drink soda, until you pee'd orange and grape, seriously. Let's face it. Grandparents are from Mars. They are evil and will do everything in their power to spoil their grandchildren. And we ARE...you know...totally screwed!
REAL ESTATE: The housing market, not unlike the rest of the United States, pretty much sucks in New Jersey. Having lived in our starter home for the last 15 years. Still. There are people who are building these ginormous houses and buying up land like...well...it's gonna run out, dammit! With 4 kids, it makes us sort of feel like we're stuck in between a rock and a really hard place to keep clean. Then, your kid starts crying. Because, he thinks that you are talking about moving and wonders why anyone wouldn't love your house, as much as he does. Especially, his parents. Oh...unless, we meant that we're moving to Cape May. Then, that's okay. Dammit.
POLITICS: Or, risk sleeping on the couch and hearing "Boy, you and your wife are on totally opposite sides of the aisle, huh!?!?" at breakfast, the next morning.
I'm just saying.
Oh, and one more thing, you might want to consider never trying to squeeze in 2 weeks of vacation in 4 days.
"Thing One is sick, Thing Two has a migraine, Mini-me's stomach is whoopsie and The Boy is 102!"
Yep - we're baaaaaaack and it's like we never left - only 3 more days until I leave for BlogHer and...I...can....NOT...wait.
"I hear San Francisco is nice, this time of year!"
Although, it won't be quite like a vacation (there will be many meetings and much note-taking) at least, with about 1,000 OTHER folks attending, there's a good chance that I'll be able to find people that I can talk to, about most anything, and no one has to...you know...get sick.
I hope there's cake!
In Other News:
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