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Tomorrow David’s brother and his family will join us in Fire Island. We are really looking forward to their arrival (they live in Washington D.C. and we don’t get to see each other very often), but we’re also closing out the part of the vacation with just the 5 of us.

Part of me wishes it had been an easier week — that I could just hang out with my kids without any sibling conflict, without any acting out, without any pushing of boundaries. Really, as I say that, I guess I just wish there wasn’t so much parenting required of me all the time! But I have to remember that these 3 little people are not my friends, they are my children. They’re not on their best behavior when they’re around me and they’re not supposed to be. I get to be the repository for their frustrations, their disappointment, their angst and their rebellion. And (shockingly!) that doesn’t feel good. In fact, it brings up uncomfortable and even dark places in myself that I’d prefer not to hang out in. I’m not so good at dark. But my kids have their own dark places and I have the sense that it’s important that mine aren’t hidden away from them.

What I’ve written here so far makes it sounds like we’ve had a tough week. That’s not true at all. We’ve had a great time together. But I think I’m in a place where I am more capable of sitting with the reality that things are both good and bad, both fun and difficult. What’s still hard for me to get my head around is that being present to this duality is actually what I should be striving for when we’re all together (as opposed to putting my efforts toward trying to realize my vision of the “perfect” family vacation).

So that’s enough heavy for the moment. I’m now going to balance it with something lighter.

( a picture of our new pedicures)


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