Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Overlords RFC, Part One

We needed something. Family morale seemed to be sinking, maybe because some strange distance had once again emerged between Mommy and me, a distance I hated and wanted to erase. Why? Because I loved the woman body and soul. I'd tried a bunch of things - giving her lots of space, getting us matching beach bikes for joint evening rides, getting us kayak lessons, trying out various seduction strategies, going to a couple's seminar, giving her even more space, lots of date nights, writing notes and songs, surprise concerts, more space again, fantasy getaway weekends, counselors, everything I could think of - but nothing had really worked, and I couldn't figure out what else to do.

It was spring of 2008. Tracy and I had had a rough time two years earlier, but we had gotten over that. But now...it seemed like the bond was slipping again. What to do?

I thought and thought - kind of like Winnie the Pooh trying to get an idea - and finally I came up with something. Maybe - long shot - but maybe just getting out of town for a couple of weeks would help us re-set. But where? Well...we need happiness, I thought. For that, where else do you go but "the happiest place on earth"? It was worth a try anyway.

That's how in May of 2008, Tracy and I and our six youngest kids wound up driving to Disneyland from Victoria in our RV (our two oldest wanted to stay at home with friends). Ideally, the two of us would have gotten away alone, but it's hard to find someone to watch eight kids for a week or two. In the end, it became obvious that if we wanted to get away, we'd all have to go. Despite that, I hoped there would be some special moments between the two of us...

I don't know what Tracy would say now, but I thought our trip was a blast, and I think the kids thought so, too. We stopped first at one of our favourite little getaway places, Seaside, Oregon, and then next in Florence to ride on buggies on the giant sand dunes, and...finally we got to Disneyland, and did it all: the Matterhorn, Space Mountain, Big Thunder Railroad, Sleeping Beauty's Castle. I don't know what it is - the tidiness, the faint smell of jasmine everywhere, maybe even the comforting predictability - but for some reason, the magic of the place never fades for me. I've been going there since I was a little kid, and each time, I feel the same thrill.

We augmented our trip with a foray to Knott's Berry Farm, during which my son Sno-Cone I think became the youngest child to ever ride on Montezuma's Revenge, and another to a dinner theatre thing with pirates, and a night out at Medieval Times. We also hit the Long Beach aquarium, a few other beaches, etc. On the way home, we stopped at a nice little resort somewhere off the highway near San Luis Obispo. It was awesome.

But the whole time we were gone, I found myself mulling over the follow-up questions: How do we keep the family morale up when we get back? How do we keep having fun together? Even though we all live our own individual lives, how do we remain centered as a family?

And then one day, lightning struck, and I had it: Overlords RFC.

More to come.

1 comment:

Reann said...
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