Every Sunday of my childhood (with very few exceptions) was spent doing something with
my family. Not surprising when you're, say, six, but as a teen this was a highly annoying family
tradition. Given the kind of teenager I was, I can assure you my parents found it even more
'Forced Family Day,' as my mom so affectionately called it, ranged from church and donuts, to
beach days, to the occasional trip to a mini-golf course (a personal favorite of mine and my
younger brother and sister). What we did that day didn't matter as long as we were all together.
My mom admits now that in our teenage years it was hard to look forward to these outings, due
to the incessant complaining, but she trudged along anyway.
My favorite memory from those Sundays was when I was 12 years old and my dad had decided to teach us kids how to golf. I am not athletically inclined. At all. The only way he could
convince me to learn to play golf was to teach me how to drive the golf cart. A few holes later, I
ended up driving it straight into a water fountain. Foreshadowing my future teen driving years,
for sure. But there was no yelling. It was an instant bonding moment as my dad got back into
the golf cart and sped away, laughing and telling me to keep that incident to myself. Not sure
what that taught me about taking responsibility for my actions, but it brought me closer to my
parents and gave us a pretty good story to laugh about for years to come. Sorry, Woodland
Hills Country Club. It was me.
As we all got older in our family, it could have been so easy to go our separate ways to our own activities. But instead, we have these memories, these 'Forced Family Days' where we were all
together. Talking about what happened during our busy weeks, reconnecting and keeping our
relationships with each other going. It's what kept our family together.
kids are small now, and have no other option than to be with me, but this is a tradition I will
gladly pass along into their young adult lives as well. I dread the day when my daughter is too
cool to give me kisses and my son would rather play basketball with his friends than hang out
with his mom. I know it's coming though, and if my teenage self is any indicator, I'm in for a
rough few years with them.
So even when they complain, or when I'm so unfair because they'll be missing out on some friend thing, I'll be forcing family days. Thanks, mom.
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