Goodbye blue screen, hello blue sky, part two

Dock on lake RGB mgPG0LeWe’re all together. Jenna, mother of two, explains that going on vacation forces her family to be together in a way she appreciates. “In ‘real life’ there’s so much that separates you—work, homework, sports that take one parent in one direction and the other in another, and play dates that just involve one of the kids,” she says. “On a vacation, you’re together both in terms of time, and in dealing with challenges together.”

Jen and Paul, parents of six children under 11, prefer the word adventure over vacation and say that long road trips have been their adventure of choice. Three years ago, when their youngest was a baby, they drove from Wisconsin to Texas. “With six kids piled into a minivan, needing multiple potty breaks and even more park breaks, we were not setting any land speed records,” Paul says. “We decided to embrace the pace, which made all the difference between getting frustrated and annoyed, and just enjoying the moment. We would often use our phones to find fun little pit stops which sometimes required driving on out-of-the-way country roads.”

Wow, that’s new and amazing. Experienced parents warn their younger counterparts not to make the mistake of spending time and money to take a vacation and then living the same way you do at home. “We went to an all-inclusive resort in Costa Rica,” says Dave, a father of two. “When we got back, people asked us all about the rain forest and the local culture, and I realized what we had missed by not leaving the resort. Sure the kids had fun swimming and doing the programming the staff provided, but we missed an opportunity to experience something new.”

Trying new things on vacation means taking a bit of a risk, but that’s why it’s an adventure, explains Jen, of the Texas trip. “With all our experiences on the road, we like to think of St. Paul’s quote: ‘Test everything and hold fast to what is good.’ When we are on the road, I feel we are doing this together as a family—we test everything: the local food, the music, the history, and we find a lot that is good. Very good!”   (Part one of this article appeared last week)

—by Annemarie Scobey, from the pages of At Home with Our Faith, Claretian Publications’ print newsletter for parents on nurturing spirituality in the home. Winner of the 2012 Best in Class award from the Associated Church Press, as well as a First Place General Excellence award from the Catholic Press Association for the past three years running. Here’s a sample issue.

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