This weekend is a big deal for my family. We have a family get together every year, at the same lake, all renting the same cabins that we have for decades. I haven’t missed one of these since 1986. My grandmother has been going since 1947. So again, it’s a big deal.
I always come back feeling very contemplative for a few days. I think being around so much family, and being reminded of so many childhood memories, and being disconnected from technology and the relentless onslaught of information twenty-four hours a day, gives my mind a much needed break.
Regardless of how restful it is, we always come back feeling exhausted. There is lots of packing and planning involved, particularly in regards to meals because Laure has celiac disease. She can’t eat what the rest of us are eating, so she has to plan everything out ahead of time, we do the shopping, and cook/prepare it all the day before we leave. She also deals with depression and a tremendous amount of anxiety, which of course is aggravated by the anticipation of the trip, and every year she spends the entire week prior feeling overwhelmed, and we have repeated conversations where she tells me she doesn’t want to go, and I assure her that she always enjoys it while we’re there, and she just needs to power through this hump. And she always does enjoy it, and looks forward to it the rest of the year.
Then there is the challenge of getting a teenager with Asperger’s to properly pack and prepare to leave. He too insists that it’s miserable there, he hates it and hates going, and there are lots of dirty looks and attitude, and double and triple checking to make sure he packed everything I printed out on the list we prepared for him. Then of course we get there and we barely see him for three days because he’s off playing with other kids and having a ridiculous amount of fun.
I have a saved checklist that I print off every year, and it takes a few hours to get everything together and pack it all into our van. And on Monday morning, it all has to be packed back into the van, the cabin cleaned, we drive the hour and a half back home, unpack and put it all away, start laundry, shower, and spend the afternoon napping.
As much fun as we have every year, it’s exhausting.