Sunday, August 23, 2009

Reflections on A Family Vacation

Family vacations can be a dicey thing. There are the obvious benefits of being with the people you care about most for a prolonged period plus enjoying where ever you've all decided to go but there's also the possibility of family vacations turning into disasters. One of the things that ruins these kinds of arrangements is if there are one or more people who don't pitch in at critical moments to do the various things that need to get done. This is especially true if you're on a vacation where you and your party are responsible for preparing meals, cleaning up, feeding and looking after kids, doing laundry, etc. It's a lot like many people living in one household except it's for only a week. All that is necessary to make life difficult is to have one or two people not doing their part. Fortunately, that was not the case on our recently completed vacation. Everyone chipped in. Men didn't sit around watching TV expecting the women to prepare meals and clean up afterward. Women didn't sit around talking while expecting men to watch the kids or do what ever they expected them to do. If there was something to be done, whoever was closest or available did it. No one refused to change diapers, grill/cook, put away dishes, etc. To a great extent this is a reflection of the fact that the traditional roles of men and women in modern families have changed in a lot of ways today. Make no mistake about it, we have a long way to go. There are still a lot of men out there who will not change a diaper, wash a dish or prepare a meal. As for kids, they're not cute until they're about 10! Ridiculous, isn't it? But absolutely none of that was evident during our vacation. We all did what needed to be done. That was one reason why we all had such a good time.

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