Sunday, August 22, 2010

Adopting the pace of nature

Last week I spent seven days with my in-laws at a cottage. To clarify, there were 17 people (including five teenagers and two children) and two dogs with one kitchen and two bathrooms. Sounds like a disaster doesn't it?! Especially considering that every day I'm becoming more like my mother in that I REALLY enjoy my alone time every day.

Before we left, as we matriarchs tried to figure out the logistics of feeding and sleeping this army, I had a mini breakdown about it all. I was envisioning a tiny cabin, a rained out week, two miserable children, and one completely mental me. To be honest, I was dreading this "vacation." As we pulled away from our home on Saturday in our car with no AC, I was in a complete funk. I was sure that I'd have to insult the entire clan by leaving early to retain my sanity.

And then we arrived. While the rain pattered around us, we pulled up to this amazing cottage and I felt my spirits rise.

The great room was huge, baby-friendly, and with wipeable leather furniture. The kitchen was large and industrial, there were two fridges and a huge gas cooker. Our bedroom was bright and spacious with a king sized bed and room for Fliss' play yard and Hayden's Diego bed. It also had a door onto a great balcony - the perfect, quiet alone space I had feared lost! And the path to the water? No steep stairs, no jagged rocks, just pebbles and sand leading to a perfect sandy weed-free beach!

I quickly unpacked our bags and cooler and began to feel myself relax. As the other families arrived, I expected my anxiety to return. And yet, I remained completely chilled. Everyone was so happy to be there, so respectful of each other (yes, even the teenagers), that we all easily came together as one huge family. We cooked together, played together, cleaned together, shared kid-watching duties, fished, gazed at the fire in a huge was like being at Bronte Creek again, only with my extended family.

I surprised myself with how harmonious I felt with my cottage-mates. Instead of stressing over people eating Fliss' special gluten-free food, I roasted marshmellows and played king of the dock, I drank too much wine and caught the first big fish of the trip. I was too busy having fun to worry.

Adam's family tends to have a mantra of "things will just work out" which usually goes against my mantra of "plan for everything so you're not surprised." This past week, I witnessed and experienced just how relaxing going with the flow can be. Truly, with memories like these:

the only word I can summon for my family vacation is bliss.