Beyond the facebook vacation

My family and I just returned from a “vacation”. I put quotes around the vacation because we all know that when you are with your children and visiting family it is not really a vacation, it’s really a trip…in every sense of that word. It’s been a really long time since our family has taken either a vacation or a trip because when your child is sick those types of activities are really out of the question. That and the fact that my husband hates to fly and we can only travel during the most expensive times of year have prevented us from traveling outside of the great state of Massachusetts. So this summer we decided it was high time we took a  vacation (read as trip from now on) since our child is more than good right now and I couldn’t deal with the fact that Wegmans had become an exciting destination getaway for me.

Where did we decide to go? Well like any normal  fucking crazy people we decided to go to Florida. In August. To see my parents. I mean we’re not totally nuts, we did plan a getaway to universal studios…ok fine we’re totally crazy. The flights were super cheap, the parents place free, and the teenage girls are over the beach so why not, right? And like any good facebooker, I documented our trip in an album titled “sweatin our $&*% off in Florida. The symbols were meant to stand for either tits or balls since we do have a male in our family and I didn’t want him to feel left out. The pictures were full of smiling, shiny, happy faces and beautiful sights in both palm beach and Orlando. By looking just at the pictures, you’d think we were the happiest fucking family in the universe. What you didn’t see was that we are just a family trying to embrace all of our sames and differences and quirks and annoyances and personalities and baggage. Because we don’t air that kind of laundry on Facebook do we? So for all of you at home, I give you the reality of our vacation.

It was approximately one hundred bazillion degrees in Florida. My sweat had sweat. We all smelled really bad. The kids complained. A lot. My mother thinks she’s dying and my father is convinced he is the smartest person in the world. I get really, really cranky in the heat and don’t really care who I take it out on. My husband has the patience of a saint but even that has its limits. Orlando parks in August are like the depths of hell where one minute you’re on fire and the next you’re soaked to the bones from torrential rains and dodging large lightening bolts as you run for shelter. The fried food at the park gave us all the worst gas in the universe. Everyone in the park had the worst gas in the universe. Did I mention that everyone smelled? Everyone smelled. There were a few times where I actually said out loud “would you just shut the fuck up already”. I can’t drink in front of my parents without judgement so I endured the insanity completely sober. My husband did too. It’s really, really difficult to see your parents age and to understand some new realities. These were some of the things you didn’t see in the pictures in my Facebook appropriate album.

But, what the pictures did capture was the overall vibe of the vacation. They captured the fact that I have my child back in all of her glory and humor. They captured the fact that my girls finally have fun together and enjoy the crap out of each other and actually side with each other more than fight with each other. It showed that my husband and I are still best friends after 22 years of being together. It showed that we were all able to come through a really dark and scary time and that our scars both external and internal are healing. The pictures make me remember how hard we laughed much of the time and they make me thankful that we made this vacation happen. It showed the sweat at times too. So. much. sweat. So when we all look at each other’s vacation albums on Facebook we should all know that only half the story is being told and I for one would love to sit and chat and laugh and commiserate about all the rest with you all.


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