Recently, for a wee mid-winter break we took the kids and the dog to stay at this Bach about an hours drive from where we live. It is very original and potentially 'romantic'. It has been in a friends family for many years and it really is like staying in a little time capsule. It was her parents who have passed away. I was wanting to get the teenagers away from electronica for a few days....no T.V....no cell phone..playing old fashioned family games like monopoly etc etc. Get the idea? ANYWAY....by Sunday afternoon both the older two children (what is the best 'term' for teenagers?) were ready to repeatedly bang their heads on the table with boredom. The 17 year old had been bitten on the face by a white tail spider and was very swollen and sore. It had rained a lot, we had all argued a lot and a number of family games had been played. The dog was over being inside or tied up. Both nights she had slept stretched out between Clyde and I in the bed like a third human. We had very little sleep due to her constantly licking our face. At home she is a farm dog and lives solely outside or in the laundry...so she was in heaven.
What is the point of this post/reflection? Hmmm. I think it is that although it was a tough little break and we were all ready to tear each other apart by the time we got home .....it will be one of those experiences that we will all remember and will contribute to the shared memories and shaping of our family. Often it not just the cheerful happy times that 'make' a family. Those times that are challenging and difficult are just as powerful in contributing to the building of the family.
P.S The white tail bite became infected. She needed to go on antibiotics AND it was just before the school ball. That is another story!