Monday, January 11, 2010

The Mess Makes the Memory

So, this year my family did something we had never done before. We decided that we would take a winter vacation between Christmas and New Year. We had rented a cabin in Blowing Rock, NC, wrangled up winter clothing (because until this week’s record cold we had never needed it in Florida) and made plans for a week of fun in the snow. My kids had never really been in snow. In fact, Kimberly had never even seen it!!

On December 28 we arrived in the late evening to find that the road to our cabin was iced over and that there was no way we were making it to the top of the hill. We also discovered that even if we made it up, we would never make it down! Not safely anyway. In the course of about two hours my family trip turned into a Chevy Chase movie. We had to scramble to find a hotel room, scrap our plans for evenings around the fireplace and realize that our week was turning upside down.

Needless to say I was less than thrilled. I was frustrated, upset, and feeling like I had let my family down. It was not my fault, but I couldn’t help but feel bad. It is one of those moments where you feel like a failure as a dad. I could just hear my kid’s years from now telling some therapist: “My dad ruined my life in the mountains.”

Needless to say we adjusted our plans, made the best of it and had a great time. My kids loved going down the tube runs in the snow. We had a ball throwing snowballs and building snow men along the side of the road. We laughed whenever someone wiped out on the snow and ice.

The lesson I have learned through all of this is that we may make plans and think we have all the answers, but sometimes life just gets crazy. Weather, finances, schedules and interruptions cause us to feel like we are going to lose it. Maybe the lesson for me is that life doesn’t have to be neat to be enjoyable. In fact, sometimes the mess makes the memory.

Don’t get me wrong, I am not suddenly becoming comfortable with clutter in my life. But I am learning that life can be exciting when we let go of our securites and enjoy the slide down the ice!!!

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