Thursday, September 9, 2010

Worst. Vacation. Ever.

After about a year and a half of my dad asking when David and I will visit with the kids, we were finally able to make it happen in early August. We left home on a Thursday afternoon and planned to leave early the following Monday morning to make the 10 hour drive home.

The drive there was uneventful. Things at Dad's got off to a bad start when the youngest boy was bitten in the face by one of Dad's dogs. He had to have his nose glue-sutured. We got past it and had a great night of going to a drive-in movie. The next day we went on a really nice kayaking trip down the Shuswap river. My dad was full of criticism about how we were too impatient and strict with the kids, and how we just need to let them be kids. We were trying to be mindful of his space and we kept the kids out and about as much as we could, they slept in a tent in the yard, and we always offered to take separate vehicles with them. We were impatient and strict because this was really the first time my dad had spent any time with them and we didn't want to overstay our welcome.

On Sunday afternoon while waiting for my sister to meet us for a hiking trip to a local waterfall, about five minutes after some of the aforementioned criticism, my dad very abruptly and completely unexpectedly kicked us out. I had mentioned something about the drive the next morning and he said "No, you're leaving tonight. You and Dave are more than welcome, but the kids have to go."

The kids were being a little rambunctious because he'd gotten them all excited about going to see a waterfall, but then they had to wait with nothing to do for my sister to meet us. They didn't have any toys with them to keep them occupied and the biting dog was outside so they couldn't go play in the yard. He simply got tired of having them around and kicked us all out. The baffling thing was that they'd hardly been around him except at meal times. They camped in the yard so he didn't have them around at night at all, and we'd become separated on the river while kayaking so he didn't see them most of that day, too. He blew up after 15 minutes of them in his living room when he was the one who got them all keyed up. He'd been lobbying for them to visit so he can get to know them for so long now, but once they were there he wanted nothing to do with them and made no effort at all.

My sister and I are still reeling and trying to wrap our heads around just how monumentally out of character this was. We gave him plenty of outs for not having the kids around too much, but instead of taking us up on our offers, talking to us about it, asking us to get a hotel, or telling us the night before or even first thing that morning, he kept nonchalantly blowing off our concerns and waited until it was a really bad time to start a 10 hour drive to blow up. We had to pack up in a hurry and get on the road. I have never felt so rejected before and I've no idea how to deal with my father now.

We ended up driving overnight and made it home very late. We'd just gotten into bed when we heard the alarm linked to the keyfob for minivan (which we'd borrowed from David's mom). Four teens had broken in and were either trying to steal the van or whatever they could find in the van. David chased them down, police were called by both us and the one kid he cornered, statements were given, everyone walked away unscathed and thus far un-charged (including the vandals/thieves due to lack of evidence). We finally got to sleep around 4:00am but had to get up after a few hours to deal with the van and insurance.

Then there was a violent storm which saw parts of our basement flooded ankle-deep and the power out for several hours. Several breakers were off for several hours because of water pouring in around outlets and fixtures.


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