I recently traveled with my boys on our first “real” vacation. It was a blast, and I have to thank Miss A for planning 99.9% of it. I seriously do not know what I did to deserve her, but I thank God every day that she’s been in our lives.
After returning, I started thinking about the trip and what it meant to my family. And then a comment was made to me that really got me thinking – do we really need to get away to love each other?
Now, hear me out before you judge what I’m saying.
I love my boys dearly. There is nothing I wouldn’t do for them. And they knew that, whether or not we went away on a vacation. Our relationship did not improve, nor did it change, just by leaving the farm. All that the vacation did was give me some amazing memories and removed a few distractions. It didn’t strengthen my love. It didn’t change how I felt. It wasn’t a magic cure-all.
Because it doesn’t take distance to know how you feel. Your heart knows…whether you travel a mile, or 1,300 of them.
The same can be said for anyone in a relationship, whether it be husband-wife, sisters, friends, etc. You don’t have to go anywhere to make someone feel loved. Does it feel good to sometimes “get away” from it all? Sure. But it shouldn’t change your feelings towards the people you’re with. No, going on a vacation just relieves a few of the pressures. It eliminates that nagging feeling that there’s something else you “should” be doing. It makes it easier to just enjoy the moment. But it doesn’t change the heart.
Do I love my boys more now that we’ve returned? Nope. But I don’t love them any less, either. My love was never based on the place where we were located.
Because the distance between two hearts is no greater than the space you allow.
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You’re right, distance or a change of venue doesn’t change how you feel about your family, but I think that it helps us change our focus a little bit. I agree with everything you said, but I would add that when you take away the routine and place yourselves in a different space you shift the focus to items and ideas that may not get discussed in the daily routine. I know that my everyday discussions with the kids contain a whole lot of: ” are you really wearing those shorts?”, what time do you have to work tomorrow?” and “your room may be a pigsty, but you can’t bring it into the bathroom that you share with 2 other people!” (can you tell I have teenagers?). This summer while on vacation we had amazing discussions about our memories of 9/11 and how we’ve processed it and what meaning it holds for us today (the youngest was 2 when it happened, the older kids in primary school). I was able to step back and hear what they are thinking, how they are processing, what shape the world is taking for them. We also discussed country vs. city living, how and why extracurricular activities are as important as academics in growing as a person, and how peer pressures shape our reactions to the world. We have those conversations at home, but they get spaced out over time and chopped into shorter time blocks, and they tend to be more one-to-one than group discussions. I love our day to day lives, but I wouldn’t trade the opportunities for us to be a unit that has stepped outside the routine for a few days.