A note from a friend who survived a recent vacation with her adult son and his young family. She hits the everyday challenges that take a toll, but not necessarily a big toll--if we keep the little things in perspective:
I love your blog about shared vacations; big bells ringing. My thoughts turn to some issues we experienced e.g. differences in daily schedules. We rise at 8, have a leisurely breakfast, read the paper, and get going late morning; they rise at 6 or 7, have a quick breakfast and are eager to be out with the kids by 9.
We are happy to play and interact with the kids but do enjoy some time for adult talk; they are not sure this is doable as the kids constantly interrupt and grab their attention.
We think the kids ought to be able to play by themselves without constant adult supervision; they are sure that is not the case. You know the rest.
Yes. We've been there. Experienced that--the love of late rising, that doesn't quite take into account a young family's schedule or the hours at which young grandchildren are "fresh." The yearning for adult talk--not just for adult-talk's sake (though there is some of that) but to catch up on what our adult children are thinking, how they're reacting to the problems of the world, issues in their city, challenges in their children's schools. Then there's the observation of their parenting style, which may not be--probably is not--the same as ours was. Too much/not enough supervision; not enough/too much discipline. It is not easy to watch and yet when we vacation together, that's what we end up doing. So long as we keep those observations to ourselves--and keep ourselves busy with our own amusements--we may come out of multi-generation family vacations with our family relationships in tact.