As a parent, we want to protect our kids physically, emotionally, spiritually. Our kids lost all their toys, clothes, trophies etc in our housefire. They were misplaced and would now live away from all their friends. They lost their sense of safety and security. We wanted to protect them from further pain, sadness, and frustration. I didn’t want them to say “remember the summer our house burnt down, that was hard.” I wanted them to say with a smile, “Remember the summer our house burnt down, that was so fun.” Life is not about suffering through what happens. I believe it is about enjoying and connecting with each other. So we planned a super fun summer for our little family.
We had 6 weeks where nothing could be done on the house while they waited for the hoverboard company to come do their own investigation. Plus with this digital day and age we knew we could make any decisions long distance. So away we went. We chose to take our kids on a cross country road trip. It was so nice to get away from the destruction that was constantly in our view. It was so nice to have a motorhome to call our own and make fresh meals and organize how we please. Having something to look forward to kept our minds from wandering back to the past weeks. We were gathered together as a family in an RV for 3 weeks. Living in close quarters forced us to bond and come together as a family. We had no choice but to accept and support each other’s grieving process. (When I say grieving, don’t picture the us crying or morning like one would when they lose a loved one. Each person handles it differently. Different moodiness or personality than before.) Our road trip was such a blessing and a great distraction. Each day we had a new location to look forward to and a new fun adventure for the kids. (Another post on the trip details coming soon).
We also spent a week in Lake Powell on our houseboat which the kids always LOVE and a week in Washington and Idaho camping, sight seeing and visiting family and friends.
In between these vacations we spent the rest of the summer bouncing between friends and more playing. We took our kids to Cowabunga Bay water park, All stars arcade and laser tag, movies, hiking up American Fork Canyon, paddling in Tibblefork Resevoir, motorcycle riding a few times, boating at deer creek and Jordanelle reservoir. We also had cousins in town and spent a week with them 24/7 going to movies, Trafalga, and 7 Peaks water park twice. They hardly had a minute of Bordum.
As I type it all out, I realize it sounds like a lot. But it was just what we needed. When you don’t have yard work or house projects to work on, there is a lot of free time. Why not spend that time having fun with your little ones?
Brett and I had the feeling our family needed to get away within the first week after the fire. But we were so nervous to go. We were worried about what others would think. We thought, “So many people gave to us, would they think they wasted their gifts just so we could go play?” It weighed heavily on our minds. Our neighbor told us that her house caught fire when she was 6. She said her parents took them to do lots of fun stuff and it made a huge difference. After hearing that and talking it out with some people we admire, we decided we should listen to our hearts and go play…And I am so glad we did.
I hope others learn from this as well. You may not have a burnt house, but maybe you have a stressful job or a busy kids sports schedule. Maybe you are caring for your elderly parent or are chronically sick. Don’t let these challenges keep you from playing. Get out and do the things that make you smile. Do something fun with your loved ones. It will heal your heart and soul. It will strengthen you so you can make those tough decisions later. Take time to play and release stress.
Comment below and tell us what fun things you do to release stress.