One thing I love about summer is our family vacation. For me… it doesn’t get any better than this. I’m not sure how many summers we’ll continue this tradition, but for now, our six kids, their families, as well as a boyfriend or two, fill up a large Florida vacation home for a week of pure unadulterated joy.
I’m telling you… for a full seven days, heaven literally rains down on this old boy… as I do everything I possibly can to soak it all in.
With a family like ours… each day is not only wonderful and relaxing, but also a bit unusual and exciting… and this one is no different. Tonight is lip-sync night… we drew #2 and #1 just finished.
As I stare in the mirror, adjusting my tie, I have this wonderful flashback which only a moment like this can awaken. It’s about 20+ years ago… and it’s Saturday night. I can see and feel it like it was yesterday.
Back when the kids were growing up, and living under the same roof, we had this Saturday night ritual of pizza and party. You see… one of the perks of having a large family is that a party can form as quickly as a summer afternoon thunderstorm. And on most Saturday nights, you could pretty well bank on one rolling in.
It would usually begin by loading up the van…firing up a little Guns and Roses “Paradise City” and singing as if our lives depended on it as we headed for Home Town Pizza.
After driving everyone a little crazy at dinner, we would head back home, turn up the tunes, and enter into phase two of our perfect storm. Mind you, phase two consisted of phase one with a little more volume… as well as air guitars and drums thrown in for extra measure. I mean to tell you… that van would be rocking and a rolling going down highway 42. It was all I could do just to keep it between the lines. There wasn’t a rock band this side of the Mississippi that had anything on us.
Anyway, after gathering my thoughts, adjusting my tie and going over my lyrics one last time, I couldn’t help but wonder… what do other families do for just the pure fun of it? Are we the only crazy ones?… surely not. In pondering that question, I couldn’t help but to fade back in the moment once again. Just thinking about our bunch in that van was enough to make me laugh out loud.
When we got back home is when the fun really let loose. I would play disc jockey… taking and playing requests as fast as they could throw them my way. The kids would dance and sing as hard as they possibly could. But this wasn’t just for the kids… no, no, no.
Leslie would lead the choreography as I would do back up with vocals and harmonies. Those were the days.
Interrupting my stroll down memory lane, I hear… “Dad we’re waiting on ya!”
Oh well… It’s time to swallow my pride and get jiggy with it.
I guess some kids never grow up… at least I hope not.
Let the show begin.
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