to go away to come back

No, it's not the planet Hoth... sledding and boarding at night on the shore by Grand Bend, Ontario.

"Why would you go away?"

This past weekend, we took four days and rented a home on Lake Huron.  It was a spacious home set in the woods, within walking distance of Lake Huron and with Pinery Provincial Park for a backyard.  An awesome location.  We shared the house with another family, as has been a tradition to holiday together for the past ten years.

I see two dear... do you?

Before we left, I was asked why we would venture out.  We have a home that is accessible and beds that fit our girls with a height that serves our backs.  We have nursing hours in the home, and we have all the bits and pieces that make our daily routine possible with severely disabled kids.

So, we leave all that and try four days in another home - that hasn't been custom designed for our kids.

It's the same question we ask ourselves each time we try camping in the summer.  Why do we go away?  Who really benefits?  Do Rachel and Janneke even want to get away? Is it fair to Em and Soph - if we take their sisters or if we don't take their sisters?

This past weekend was good and not-so-good.  Thankfully, the good parts smelled, tasted, and felt better than the not-so-good parts.

trying out ear phones so the rest of us don't go wonky listening to Barney

Rachel and Janneke both started a terrible cold the first night away; this cold robbed us of sleep all four nights.  Argh.  We didn't take photos of the sleeplessness, the frustration and emotions felt at 3 AM when both girls were crying, keeping the rest of us awake.  Or the umpteen loads of bibs to be washed.

We did take photos of the good stuff.  And we savoured the support our friends gave, the cups of coffee put in our hands in the morning, the meals made for us, and the laughter that oozed out of our eyes and mouths...yes, we laughed so hard that our eyes were leaking.

We took advantage of the times during the day when the girls were feeling happy and did stuff.  We wrestled the wheelchairs through the snow and found a way to see the sunset and the wild landscape of frozen Lake Huron.

jump photo fail... oops

sledding on the sand, snow, and ice

Maybe we are stupid.  Maybe we are stubborn.  Maybe it's a bit of both that we call determination to find a way to get out past our four walls and do something together.  We want to find a way to make it work.  We know we fail when we don't have help with us.  Trial and error.  Try something, try it again, or find a new holiday plan.

We go away so we can come back.  We come back, grateful for what we have and what we can do.  We have regrets and we have sore backs, and we wonder how long we will try to holiday with all four kids. On our way home from each holiday, we talk through what worked and what didn't. We ask each other if we think it's worth it...this going away idea.

At this point, we will keep trying.

peace for your week,

kids were convinced doing the dishes the old-fashioned way would make them sick