The Writing Mamas Daily Blog

Each day on the Writing Mamas Daily Blog, a different member will write about mothering.

If you're a mom then you've said these words, you've made these observations and you've lived these situations - 24/7.

And for that, you are a goddess.

Thursday, April 17, 2008


Family Time

As the weather warms, thoughts turn to the ultimate daydream: summer. I’m planning a vacation with my sisters and their families for the first week in August.

Being from out of town, they want to go to well-known destinations: Lake Tahoe and Yosemite. Water and hiking. We can barely wait.

We’ll have to, though, because the week of Fourth of July, my children and me will fly to New York City to spend ten days in Connecticut. An annual ritual, each child based on age, oldest first, gets to pick out a firecracker, Uncle Bob lights it and then collectively they decide if the choice was “cool” or not. Trips to New York and Boston are also planned during this journey.

My nieces and nephews will be blown away at how tall my children have grown in just a year. Jay, 15, is already shaving and is five feet, seven inches. Mimi, 6, is as high as my chest.

This summer, my family will also fit in a visit with my best friend since childhood, Amy, who is Mimi’s godmother. It is a role she takes very seriously. Jay is crazy about her, too.

While my husband never comes to my sister’s house, he loves where Amy and her husband live, so he will vacation with us. When John doesn’t come with us, like to Connecticut because he says it’s too loud, which it is, he considers that his vacation. I would, too.

It’s akin to when he goes camping with our kids and I won’t. I know this does not make for good childhood mommy memories. As I have explained to John and the children: I hotel. I don’t camp. And we have a camper.

My sisters, Robyne, Heidi, and Amy are the people in my life who have made me laugh the hardest. We’ve had so many adventures, know each other so well, that just a look, a single word, and we each “get it.”

My selfish desire is that they all live here. Not possible. Robyne resides in Chicago, Heidi in Connecticut and Amy in Bellingham, Washington.

We converse by e-mail and phone. Of course, it’s not the same. But it is the structure of our families, as the children know it. It is how our kids are growing up with each other and their aunts and uncles.

Already my nephew, Alex, cries because of the Chicago snow and asks his mother, “Why can’t we live in California?” When you put down roots and have a thriving therapy business as my sister does, it’s hard to move. It’s where her friends, “her family” live.

As for Heidi, her husband will never leave the town in which we grew up. Heidi would move here in a nanosecond. They have been together since the age of 17, when they split from their after-prom dates, found each other at the senior picnic and the rest of their story is Jordan, Hannah and Becca, their children.

Amy loves where she lives and as an ESL consultant, gets to travel the world. She doesn’t have kids, so she considers Mimi her daughter and Jay her stepson.

I love where I live, so I’m not moving either. Therefore, I guess this is how our families will exist, as so many families do. From a distance.

We don’t see each other as often as we would like. In 10 years, we may visit 20 times. Just 20 times.

I tell myself it is not the instances or the length of these vacations that matter; it is that we are together, having fun, and sharing stories from our childhood with our children. They can never hear enough. Childhood stories are so important to kids. They learn more about the adults in their lives and make connections between themselves and us, creating photo albums in their minds.

For us, this is what family is all about.

By Dawn Yun


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