Home' Aurora : Aurora December 2014 Contents 13
www.mn .catholic.org.au Catholic Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle
How do you define a holiday? The
dic tionar y defines it as “an ex tended period
of leisure and recreation , especially one
spent away from home or in tr avelling”. I
agree with that definition , but it doesn’ t
include the fact that holidays can be a
precious time of reconnection with your
My husband, three children and I were
lucky enough to spend two weeks recently
in Rarotonga, in the Cook Islands. It was
a magical place, a tiny speck in the South
Pacific where the pace of life was slow, the
air was warm and the water an aquamarine
blue so beautiful it didn’t seem possible.
We had never been on a holiday that
included all five of us so the anticipation
was palpable. We had spent months
r esearching ever y thing we could about
Rarotonga, preparing the kids for the flight
and imagining what it would be like. The
countdown began at 10 0 days to go and
every day we all grew more excited.
Finally the big day arrived and once we
had cleared customs I felt the weight of
my ever yday responsibilities slip off my
shoulder s . I felt free and unreser vedly happy.
I knew that for two weeks the biggest
decision I would have to make was where
to swim that day or where to eat dinner
The abandonment of the ever yday is the
key to a wonder ful holiday – being able to
forget about bills, cooking, cleaning, studying,
wor king and routines is a blessing beyond
value. It allows frazzled parents to be in
the same room as their kids and not have
anything else to do but just be with them.
Of cour se, our kids did not magically
turn into per fec t people while on holiday
(despite my lofty expectations, they are
only human after all). They still had fights
and occasionally they were gr umpy and
cheeky. It was the change in our attitude
that made all the difference . Things that
would normally set us off at home were like
water off a duck’s back on holiday. We just
let things go or suggested a visit to Char lie’s
for a milkshake and all was forgotten. I
didn’t raise my voice once, I was so relaxed.
The children star ted asking where their real
mother was, so unrecognisable was I to
them in this altered state!
On holidays you are so in tune with the
lit tle moments that their magic is savoured
ten times more than at home. You have
nothing to distr act you, you are simply
present. On my birthday we went on a
lagoon cr uise and the crew invited our
kids to play drums with them. I was sitting
there with my little guy on my lap, holding
hands with my husband , watching the girls
dru mming. The sun was shining, the water
crystal clear, the crew singing traditional
songs and I felt tears of happiness sting my
eyes. I literally wept with joy. Timing your
holiday to coincide with your bir thday is a
bonus – just saying!
Holidays allow you
to create family
memories that will
be the ones you
talk about in years
to come. There are
songs that will always
r emind you of those
special days. Our three-
year- old would randomly
shout out, “This is awesome”
as we were driving around the island or
feeding hundreds of fish in the lagoon. A fter
hear ing my husband mock sing, “These are
the moments”, Caleb would channel his
inner Barr y White and sing it too, always at
an appropriate moment. There was crab
hunting by torchlight, coconut throwing
competitions and new friends made arou nd
OF THE EVERYDAY
Holidays can also be a time of wonder ful
surprises. My husband had organised for us
to renew our wedding vows and I had no
idea until it happened. To have our children
witness this precious moment is hopefully
something they will always remember and
cherish as much as we will. What a
gift my husband not only gave
me, but our kids as well. In
one magical af ternoon he
showed them that mar riage
is worth nurturing, that
parents loving each other,
even after 17 years of
mar riage, is the benchmar k .
Our holiday gave us the
time to really appreciate each
other and say the things we
don’t say as often as we should.
On holiday, away from the pressure
and busyness of life, we can be the best
version of our selves. We can re -energise
and prepare our selves for life back in the
r eal world. We can tell each other how
impor tant we are in both words and actions.
We can experience different cultures and
ways of being. We can learn. We can savour
life, appreciate beauty and remember what
it was like to be a child. In doing so, we
r econnect and remind each other how
special it is to be a member of a family with
our ow n unique experiences and s tor ies.
We can build memories and family bonds
are strengthened – all due to that precious
commodity called time.
I think holidays are an investment in your
family. We could have used the money to
pay off some of the mor tgage or to prop up
our sadly-lacking superannuation accounts.
We chose instead to explore a small par t of
our big world and to revel in the fact that
we are alive and together. T he experiences
we had are more valuable than money in
the bank. They will always be part of us and
always be treasured.
Since being home, despite being driven
headfirs t back into the daily gr ind, I have
noticed a subtle shift in attitude. I am trying
hard to hang on to that chilled-out per son
I was in Rarotonga. The whole family
seems to really like her! We have, of cour se,
immediately star ted talking about the next
holiday, which may well be years away. In
the meantime we have those wonder ful
memories to sustain us!
we can be the
Receive a card to give to
your friend or loved one.
Choose from the
range of Global Gifts.
Your donation changes
lives around the world.
Order your Global Gift online at: www.caritas.org.au/
globalgifts or call us on 1800 024 413.
GLOBAL GIFTS 2014
We believe in the spirit of Christmas
Links Archive Aurora November 2014 Aurora February 2015 Navigation Previous Page Next Page