As I write this, the Mail program on my laptop is chugging away, pulling down all of the work emails received since we left for vacation a week ago. Next on the list will be going through my personal emails, remanent Manic Mommies emails, family emails and school updates.
It’s the first step in reconnecting after a week spent blissfully disconnected. The lack of connectivity while on a boat (and out of the country), is one of the major reasons we selected a cruise vacation. The first time we cruised (in 2010), Steve and I were the only ones who needed to disconnect, but this time, all four of us needed the digital break. A break from the texting. The Instagram-ing. The gaming. The friendship dramas.
The four of us also needed to reconnect. We needed to put down the to-do lists, homework assignments, chore charts, and schedules. We needed to hold hands, snuggle, laugh, fight, talk, and listen without the pressure of our daily lives.
Isn’t it amazing how you can see people everyday, and still feel like you are missing each other?
We tried new foods. Spent time with my parents as well as my brother and his girlfriend. Embarked on new adventures. Had long conversations. And I was struck, once again, by the amazing people that are the children we are raising.
Without the protection of our electronics, we were also able to open up to new connections. A chance encounter through my brother, a man who can get anyone to start chatting, brought us in contact with a local cyclist Steve and I had met over the summer (How much did I love the moment when she said… “wait? Are you Steve the Bike Guy?”).
Turns out she was on the cruise with her family, which included a boy and girl with whom our children immediately connected.
While our children wandered the boat with new friends, Steve and I found ourselves spending time with their parents and friends, brought together by shared backgrounds, careers, interests and shared connections. (At points it felt like an ongoing game of “do you know…”).
On the last night the grownups toasted new friendships and talked about how to continue to connect after the cruise. New friends for the grown ups too? What an unexpected and pleasant surprise, and should be assisted by our daughters’ insistence we schedule a sleepover AS SOON AS POSSIBLE.
Back in the car, we were back on our devices – but the new connections followed us home as Anders exchanged texts with his new friend, and I added two new gal pals on Facebook.
Now at home, we are already starting to retreat to our separate corners – Steve is clearing the snow; Anders is playing video games in the basement), Sophie is chilling with Chewie, and I’m ensconced in our bedroom as I catch up on the email, unwatched tv shows and laundry.
But it’s okay, because after the past week, I am feeling more connected than ever.