Family time – or else

I’m excited about this Family Day long weekend, though I have no plans.

When there is so much going on around Wellington County, I am perfectly okay to accept a staycation. What I cannot accept is routine. Long weekends demand something more. We need an adventure, and by “we,” I mean me.

I need some fun. Stat.

But Family Day only works for me if my family actually wants to hang out together. Otherwise, it’s just another day to do laundry while the cost of hydro is reduced  (yes, I am that cheap).

Now that our kids are older, the last thing they want to do is anything the Carpenter and I want to do – and to be honest, the feeling is mutual. Heck, the Carpenter and I don’t really do anything together as a couple now, so basically we are a household of independent personalities.

I think this is a good thing, but sometimes, I would like more unity. I would like a day where we unplug from the virtual world and go play in the real one, together.  Lately it seems the only thing we have in common is the ability to generate a lot of laundry.

I remember not long ago when our dryer broke and I had to truck baskets full of wet laundry to my parent’s house until we could have our appliance repaired. We borrowed my mother’s dryer for a full round worth of one week’s laundry.

My mother decided to help out by folding our laundry before I returned to pick it up. I thought that was a lovely gesture until I got home and discovered, in amongst the towels and matched socks, a wooden, hand-painted sign with a lovely bow on top. I flipped the sign over to read the words: “Teenagers are God’s punishment for enjoying sex.”

Very funny. My mother is nothing if not subtle. I believe this was her way of expressing karma. I’m going to go out on a limb here and suggest that perhaps she was trying to insinuate that in my teens, my personal centre-of-the-universe demands made me a challenging personality when cooperation was required (As if. Whatever. Eye roll).

I am sure you can imagine that I was a wonderful teenager, independent and never argumentative.  I was the poster-child of model behaviour (if the model was a moody, irrational, hormonal teenager).

She may have a point though. Teenagers can be a challenge, but they are also at one of the best stages of life. When they aren’t brooding and defiant, they are hilarious and creative. Also, they can set up Netflix with your Chrome Cast in record time. They are invaluable people, really.

And sure, the Carpenter and I believe our teenagers were put in our lives to ensure we almost never enjoy that sacred act of intimacy again, but acceptance is key.

We both agree Family Day is a valid excuse to make time to do something together as a family, whether they like it or not. Perhaps thinly veiled threats of housework will induce enthusiasm.

Mark my words: we will enjoy this long weekend. There will be forced family time wrapped in guilt and affection, and a good time will be had by all – or else.



Kelly Waterhouse