Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Fun with the Fam

The other day I was sitting on the couch, happily engaged in watching Jordan Spieth's fourth-round fumble and blitz to win the Open, when I was interrupted by my wife, taking a seat next to me. I glanced over and knew I was in trouble; she was holding a pen and calendar. Experience has long taught me what soon follows is a detailed presentation of things I need to do around the house. This wasn't the case however. Instead, it was time to plan our family vacation.

Vacations usually mean we pack up the family's must-haves into the car and hit the road. Now, lest some of you think less of me, I am not opposed to vacations per say. What frustrates me is driving with three children buckled into car seats, holding me hostage for hours as I try to concentrate on the road, all the while buffeted by the sounds of "music" coming from behind me. I know children need to exercise their lungs, but the piercing tones of their playful little voices are sometimes more than I can handle.

But I digress. So my wife and I started going through our vaca-list. It contains all the options we consider when planning vacations. This year near the top was "visiting family," with number two being "an educational experience for the kids."

I started to perk up. What could be more educational than a road trip to visit some of the major baseball parks in North America? It was a perfect no-brainer. The season's in full swing. There would be geography and history all rolled into one. And if we were really lucky, we might even catch a game or two.

Ever astute, my wife zeroed in on my thoughts, delivering a preemptive strike: "I was thinking we could visit some museums and then take the kids to see the largest shopping mall in North America."

I started wishing work would call, telling me all unused vacation time has been cancelled indefinitely.

Then I thought about it just a wee bit more.

Vacations are not about the destination. Taking a vacation is about recharging one's internal battery, renewing one's broader perspective and, hopefully, reconnecting in a positive way with your mate -- and the kids in the backseat.

No matter how tempted you are to choose work over vacation, it's better to take some time away from the job. Just think back a minute. When you were a kid, would you ever opt for staying at home rather than going on vacation? (If you answer yes on that one, maybe this blog's not for you.)

For example, there was the time my parents took us to the beach. My brothers and I were fighting over a beach ball in the back seat, when lo and behold the ball jumped out the open car window. We still don't remember how the ball ended up on the highway, but we'll never forget dad's reaction as he watched it bounce off cars and sail into the air. Rather than earning us his ire and a disciplinary action, he gave a shrug and a chuckle, musing how lucky some kid will soon be as the owner of a new beach ball. Dad may have wanted to say something more, but he didn't want to kill the fun we were having.

And why would he? After all, we were on vacation.

Where's the road taking you and your family this year?

Vacations can be fun, but they can be tricky sometimes, too. Drop us a line and let us know where you're going this summer. (By the way, be sure to take along your Men's NetWork cap or shirt and get in the picture for our WEAR in the World feature!) You can keep us posted by clicking here and cluing us in.

Have fun and be safe!

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