Vacationing with Teenagers, Part 1

I’m either really good at this vacation thing or I’m horrible at it, depending on your perspective.

For the first time in 19 years I’m taking a paid vacation. Like, they’re paying me not to work. For you freelancers and/or stay-at-home parents, I realize this is a foreign concept. In any case, I’m hoping to squeeze the life out of this week, while simultaneously relaxing and enjoying the company of my three teenaged sons.

Because it’s been a while since the four of us have been on vacation together, I think I forgot I was supposed to be the responsible party during our drive north. I did not insist that everyone get out to pee during our first stop, and during our second stop at a gas station -- to buy a gallon of milk for my growing boys -- I failed to actually buy gas. Wherever we go for dinner tonight needs to be in the direction of the nearest gas station.

Teenagers sleep late. I know this, yet I was surprised by how much I did before I saw even one of them emerge from their bunk beds. I had coffee by the lake, read a few chapters of a really good book, met the neighbors, ran three miles and did an extremely peaceful yet challenging and long session of paddleboard yoga. All before 10:30 a.m. I think I’m relaxing, but I’m not quite sure.

On my way back from running up and down the hills of quiet Canaan, New Hampshire, I ran through the parking lot of a church during its 10:00 Sunday service. Exactly 10 cars were parked in the dirt lot. Two cars had kayaks strapped to their roofs, and most vehicles were either Subarus or pickup trucks.

Because the church’s windows were closed, I couldn’t tell if the music playing was a traditional hymn played on an old piano or Coldplay. These two musical genres have nothing to do with one another, but the muffled sound was hard to decipher.

I guess one’s perspective really does affect how you see (or hear) things. I hope to figure out my own definition of a good vacation, and strike a balance between chilling and doing it all.

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