It seems the right moment to write about family vacation today, our first day of school, and the official end to summer holidays. I don't know how many more vacations as a family of five we have ahead: our oldest is sixteen, and the day is coming – it may not be too far off – when he, and then his fourteen-year-old brother will be doing their own things in the holidays. So today I'm holding on to the memories of our family vacation this summer, and feeling grateful that we had the chance to spend so much time together - just the five of us.
Our long road trip, in fact, turned out to be a wonderful way to be together. Away from home and from the distraction of our individual interests and summer activities, each day we were seeing new places and meeting new people together, deciding as a team what our itinerary would be, where to stop, when to stop, and what to do. Sure, there where some slow moments - 1,752 miles is a long way to drive, even through beautiful landscapes, and we'd brought no electronic entertainment like iPods, iPads, iThings ... So throughout the journey, it was just the five of us and lots of time to be together to talk or to be quiet, to be silly or sing.
In the end, this trip brought our family together. It was the perfect time for us to travel as a family, and both Tom and I had the distinct impression that the big age gap between our older boys and our girl had somehow become less noticeable. It didn't feel like we had two teen boys and one little girl, but three kids. Three siblings. This family vacation was like crossing a bridge together - a bridge that is taking our family on, to the next journey.