Day 6 of the 12 day school vacation and the familial unit is showing signs of cracking.  I can’t remember a time when we spent an entire break alone with one another in our humble abode.  We usually go up and visit Dave’s family in Rhode Island.  Now I know why.  We need the buffers.

Faced with no cousins to play with, the brothers have become weary of torturing one another and have set their sights on Dave and me.   They have many weapons in their emotional arsenal including a charming game in which Brother 1 asks Brother 2 a series of questions to which Brother 2 answers only by saying the word “sausage.”  This game is played over and over and over again – loudly.  Any attempts to thwart this pastime are met with incredulous stares and rhetorical rants:  “What’s wrong?  We are getting along aren’t we?”

Even worse, Dave and I are turning on each other.  We got into a wicked fight on Sunday about my musical selection for our family brunch.  Why anybody would NOT want to listen to “Free to Be You and Me” over bagels and potato latkes is completely beyond me but suffice it to say we both went down swinging.  I have to say that despite my age, I still got it when it comes to silent treatments – I can go a long time…until I can’t anymore.  Then I yell and cry and we make up.  And it’s alright to cry; it might make you feel better.

Unlike the passengers on the Titanic, we both realized our ship was sinking fast.  Yesterday we fled to the fancy health club that we are thinking of joining and wrangled a one week free trial membership.  I ran very fast.  Dave swam.  The boys swam and ran.  We all pondered taking up squash as our new family sport.  We came home happy and relaxed, saved by endorphins.  Noah had a guitar lesson; Dave went to the liquor store and bought obscene amounts of alcohol; Chasey and I bought New Year’s Eve decorations.  I even let him buy confetti.

In the spirit of pointing out the obvious, winter vacation can be a complete misnomer.  While I am enjoying the lack of an agenda for the week, I’m not so secretly looking forward to getting back to school and work so we can all get a little peace.

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