A family on holidays Photo: iStock Photos
The litmus test for your family’s health is the drive to your holiday destination.
If Mum, Dad, four kids (two of them carsick) and two beagles can cram into a car containing three suitcases, six Cabbage Patch dolls, two cricket sets, four fishing rods, a My Little Pony stable and 50 books that won’t get read, then crawl through five hours of Boxing Day traffic and still climb out at the other end with everyone in one piece, your family is doing OK.
On holiday, the best memories come from the catastrophes.
Most of us only get a few weeks off a year so it’s natural we want them to go perfectly. But what two- or three- or four-week block of life has no problems whatsoever? It’s lucky that the inevitable catastrophes are the very things we reminisce about years later.
I have only the vaguest memory of the 27 days when my family relaxed on the beach, gazing idly at parasailing in the background. But none of us can forget the one day every single summer when some poor sap’s towline broke and the frantic parasailor headed out to sea, waving hysterically.
Family illness was always on the agenda, too. Our holiday block of eight units had eight families and their diseases living and playing with each other. Every second year a vomiting bug would go through the building, often followed by the Port Stephens Poos. And one time I remember glancing up at our block, seeing mums searching kids’ hair for lice on five out of the eight balconies.
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