Thursday, 8 August 2013

What I Learned From Going on a Vacation with my Parents

Until last weekend, it had been over 20 years since my Dad has been on a vacation. I have several theories for this:

One: Because he is cheap. He has always been very careful with his money and enjoys squandering over it, not spending it.

Two: Traveling is uncomfortable for him. He’s 6’6 and a big guy. So airplanes are probably uncomfortable for him, I get that.

Three: He likes being at home. It’s as simple as that. Being at home is his favorite thing in the world.

About a year ago, when he is was in the hospital being treated for an aggressive brain tumor and diagnosed with three months to live, he made a list of things he wanted to do when he got out of the hospital. On the top of that list was to go on a vacation.

He came home from the hospital in April 2012 and has made a miraculous recovery - but he and my mother had still not gone on a holiday together since his return home.

At a family dinner this past Easter (in April 2013), Kody, my amazing boyfriend, announced that he had booked a trip for he and I to go to Seattle for his birthday and to watch a baseball game. To my dismay, my Dad asked if he and my mother could come with us.

I was a little shocked, to say the least.

I couldn’t believe my Dad was actually considering leaving Grande Prairie, Alberta, let alone the country.

And then I was the scared.

The selfish, 18 year old version of me was insulted that my parents would crash this vacation that Kody had planned for us. I had a lot of fear that they would be embarrassing, awkward, and miserable. Yes, these are words that I've used to describe my parents with the past, and no, I’m not that spoiled or unreasonable…they really have been awful. But that’s beside the point now. More importantly: How was I going to survive with my Dad and mother tagging along on this special getaway that Kody had planned?

I was skeptical, to say the least. And terrified. But because of the list my Dad had made in the hospital last year (and because I highly doubted the fact that they would even come) Kody and I said yes, they could join us.

The next thing I know, there are four flights booked to Seattle in August and off we go.

I learned to trust my parents

They were not embarrassing. They were not awkward. They were not miserable and they didn’t even argue. In fact, they were surprisingly normal. It was so special and such a relief. I guess there really is something about getting a brain tumor removed from one’s head that changes a person…

I fell even more in love with my boyfriend

He’s always friendly and smiley. I don’t know how he does it, but I swear this guy hardly ever has a bad day, and this holiday was no exception. He was very patient and kind to my parents. It was so nice to see and I really appreciated it.

My mother once said to me that she liked how accepting Kody was of them, and this is a true statement. It’s nice to date someone who not only accepts you for who you are, but everything that’s a part of you, too.

We made memories

The last time I went on a family vacation with both of my parents, or spent a lot of positive, quality time with them, I think I was about 13 years old. I’m 29 now. It’s nice to have made those memories. They are fresh and happy ones.

I was reminded of what’s important

Family. Whether it is your blood relatives or your chosen family, make happy memories with them. Life’s too short not to.

My parents, Kody and I
Seattle 2013

My Dad and I in Seattle
August 2013