July 2012 165

I think I invented a new word last night.

We have two months of holiday coming up in July and August and as of now haven’t been able to decide what to do with it. I normally find that half the fun of holidays is the anticipation and excitement that goes with them as you envisage what you will be doing. Last year when we went to Ireland we felt that growing sense of energy as the dates approached.

But this year its been all a bit frustrating. We can’t seem to agree on where to go and what to do. Its partly a product of having older kids who have different concerns and partly a result of having done a fair bit of travel already. For Ellie being away for two months means she doesn’t get to play netball, go to youth, or see her friends. Sam feels similarly. They no longer see us as cool people they love to hang out with either so two months with parents is a little bit of a drag. We have a good relationship, but that’s reality.

Our traditional mid year break has seen us heading north into red dirt and spinifex chasing some warmer weather and the sense of disconnection that comes with remoteness. But as the kids have got older this has become rather passe and a bit tired. If we had other teenagers their age come along then it might be more interesting, but 8 weeks with just mum and dad sounds like hard work.

I get that. I really do. I began reflecting back to my own teen years and realised we stopped having family holidays when I was about 13, probably because I didn’t want to go. I wanted to play sport, hang with friends and do other stuff that was home based. My parents didn’t push the point and so family holidays ended.

I have a bit of a different perspective in that I want us to do what we can to keep family holidays alive. I don’t think its impossible for us all to enjoy a break together, but we may need to adjust our expectations.

In the absence of friends, we realise our kids need some new activities to spark their energy. I can happily read a book by a river, but they don’t find joy in that kind of a holiday. Ireland was good because we were on the move, seeing new things and meeting new people, but those holidays are expensive… You can’t visit a new overseas venue every year…

So the last few months have been spent tossing around ideas and trying to reach a decision that works for all – that brings a sense of anticipation, but also is doable within the budget.

We have 3 weeks before we hit the road. A week in Exmouth is already booked so that’s going to happen.

After that?…

We’ll see…


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