A Vacation

I went on a vacation last week.  I traveled to northern Wisconsin with my mom and kids to see my youngest brother.  While being on a lake with beautiful weather is close to my idea of heaven, this vacation was not as relaxing as I had hoped it would be.

My mother takes anti-deperessants and has for a number of years.  Well, she didn’t take them for several days while we were up there.  It became quite uncomfortable.  I felt like I was taking care of another child who was having a meltdown.  I didn’t know what was wrong until she said something about forgetting to take her medicine.  I made sure she took it then.

And I was also reminded of why I am happy that my brother lives 8 hours away.  He is probably one of the most helpful people I know and I hear people rave about him all the time.  Well, he is also a pompous ass.  He spent the week lecturing me on how I spend money, how I raise my children, and what a failure I am as a wife.  Oh yeah, and he likes to tell me that I’m not a real teacher since I teach special ed.  Let me tell you, it almost put me over the edge.  At one point, my 3 year old daughter was throwing a temper tantrum and he actually said, “Your her mom, make her stop.”  I looked at him and replied, “That’s like trying to stop a tornado.”  He criticized the amount of money I was spending and kept asking me why I didn’t take better care of my husband (in his mind this means I should have dinner on the table when he gets home from work, all of his clothes clean and pressed, and the house spotless).  Anyway, my mother’s response to all of his comments was to tell me no fighting.  I finally figured out a few things after all these years.  My parents have always told my other brother and I to just ignore him.  They never told him to stop or leave us alone and so he has grown up thinking he can do and say whatever he wants when it comes to his siblings.  And now that he lives so far away, my parents rarely see him and so they don’t want to make him mad.  The other thing I realized was that my other brother and I have grown up and developed an adult relationship over the past several years.  We still have our disagreements, but we deal with them in a fairly adult manner.  My youngest brother, however, is a different story.  I was away at college when he was in high school and by the time I came home, he moved 8 hours away to go to college.  He still relates to me as if I’m in high school and he’s in junior high.  My other brother feels the same way and while he was around more than I was, it’s like the relationship has never moved beyond that of high schoolers.  I don’t know how we’re going to change things.  Oh well, I don’t have to see him again for another year or so.

All in all, I enjoyed the week because I love lakes and cabins.



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3 responses to “A Vacation

  1. Families can be so difficult, though we are told all the time how wonderful they are. That’s why I tried to start over in the family business. It’s very, very difficult.

  2. Starting over, huh? I can imagine the difficulties, but oh the possibilities! I can remember my dad giving me some advice shortly before I married. I dismissed it at the time because he was quite intoxicated, however, I believe there was some wisdom there. He told me to move far away. If we moved far away, then the most anybody ever expected was a phone call and maybe a visit once a year. He and my mother moved two hours from their hometown and he claimed that wasn’t far enough. I wonder if my husband would consider moving, oh say, 8 hours away?

  3. That is basically what we did. After I graduated from college in Los Angeles, my wife and I moved to Seattle (where I entered graduate school). This moved us far away from my family and my wife’s family (still in California) so we could start over and try to raise our daughter so she would not fall into the cycle of unhappiness and self-destructive behavior that afflicted many in both of our families.

    When my daughter coupled with another woman, and her partner had a baby (artificial insemination), that became our new “barely extended family.” So far we are nice to each other and it is working out. Relationships always take attention and maintanence, however; so I don’t take it for granted.

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