Home > family > HOOORAY! Summer vacation canceled!

HOOORAY! Summer vacation canceled!

That may not be most folks’ sentiments upon hearing that their summer vacation trip has been cancelled, but I’m ready to do a jig.

Last winter some time, my father-in-law (Pop Pop to The Child), asked if we’d be willing to go on a summer family trip. Pop Pop, both his kids including The Husband, their spouses and kids, plus Pop Pop’s wife (Wicked Step Mom), and her three sons, and their significant others and kids. A giant family pile up at a Great Lodge up in the Adirondacks. Only catch was, he needed to know by Friday to make the reservations.

Now, this sounds like fun, like I said. But we were a little skeptical — these are not the most organized folks in the universe and a 20-odd person trip to the woods — with half of them under the age of 12 — requires some serious forethought. Plus we weren’t sure about the cost — we’re pretty skint right now. So we put off giving an answer in the hopes it would just evaporate, as so many of Pop Pop’s plans often do.

But no, next thing we knew, he was talking about all of us going up. Very very excited. And while I was skeptical, I was willing because Pop Pop is the one grandparent that doesn’t give us monumental piles of shit. He’s laid back, lovely, charming, and very enamored of The Child.

Long about March, I started pushing for more details. “We’re working on them.” Once a month or so, I’d nudge. And get back vague mumbles. My anxiety grew.

Then a few weeks ago, The Husband’s sister, B., called. She wasn’t going to be able to go for (sorta) unavoidable reasons. Pop Pop was devastated. He tried to convince B. to send up her sons without adults but she refused.

This made the trip much much less appealing. Without my sister-in-law, there would be three of Pop Pop’s family and ten of Wicked Step Mom’s family. I like The Husband’s stepbrothers okay, but I don’t know them very well and have very little in common with them. It would make the whole arrangement a bit lopsided. (There’s more, of course. The family tensions there are subtle and complex and I won’t bore you.)

The Husband and I actually, briefly, debated pulling out. But we couldn’t stand to break Pop Pop’s heart. He was really upset about B.’s defection.

Then last night, we got a hang-dog message from Pop Pop on the ansa-phone. Two of the three step brothers begged off. The trip was off. (The third step brother is mentally ill and, as such, not really an independent entity.)

On one hand, I’m ecstatic. It was a cheap trip but still more than we could afford. The Husband still doesn’t have a lot of time off accumulated now that his physical therapy is over and that trip would have eaten most of it. And, frankly, I wasn’t looking forward to five days in the woods with these folks.

On the other hand, Pop Pop is really clearly deflated. He gives us the least shit and as a result, sometimes, gets the least amount of time with The Child. I’m going to have to come up with some way to make him feel better. I just can’t think what right now.

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