Family Rehab

“You plan great retreats for InterVarsity, I think it’s time you planned an equally terrific family retreat,” Scott said last week.  Despite my bleary, congested, achy, fevery condition, I thought he was right.
As an IT manager, he said our family needs a “re-boot.”
As an InterVarsity campus minister, I agreed that our family needs a “retreat.”
But Kai-Kai, as she stood at the whiteboard serving as scribe, decided what our family really needs is “rehab.”
“White-boarding” our family
I wanted to spend time planning an excellent retreat, but as we looked at our calendar, we’ve already booked every weekend with various events.  So it’s going to be a rolling retreat/reboot/rehab with not as excellent planning.
Friday night we started off celebrating Ren’s birthday, with “Kung Fu Panda 2,” followed by dinner at a Thai restaurant using 2 of my “Buy with Me” coupons.  Fun and food are crucial to good retreats, might as well include them in rebooting and rehabbing!  
At dinner, we went around the circle with everyone affirming Ren.  Because it was his birthday, he got 5 rounds.  We had to remind kids that backhanded compliments don’t count  (ie. despite being incredibly annoying, Ren. . .).
We then did 2 rounds for everyone else.
Unfortunately, Ren started feeling sick during the meal, so we couldn’t end his birthday or our day’s worth of retreat/reboot/rehab with my version of the Cold Stone Creamery Mudpie Mojo (coffee ice cream, hot fudge, peanut butter, peanut butter cups, oreos, heath bar crunch & almonds all smushed together).
The next morning, over my take on Le Peep Skillet Potatoes (potatoes, onions, bacon, whatever veggies you can find in the fridge topped with cheddar cheese and 2 fried eggs), we started honing in, first with the question “What makes our family awesome?” once again going around the circle so everyone had to respond.
Here’re some of our ideas:
·      Good swimmers
·      Food dudes
·      Hospitable
·      Work hard outside the home
·      Pray together
·      Generous
It was encouraging to see that our family, in such dire need of retreat/reboot/rehab still has some strengths!
We then started on “Where can we grow in awesomeness?”  We didn’t get through much, but some ideas included:
·      Cooperate
·      Improve response to mood swings
·      Support each other
·      Helpful
·      Value individual relationships more
·      Less attached to our electronic devices
At that point, Kai was invited to swim with a friend and we didn’t have the heart to force her to spend the rest of the day with us, even though I had 5 Groupons to the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum that expire today.  Despite how Ling and Ren thought the Museum was incredibly onerous, I was happy that after 15 years in Boston, I finally got to see it.
A good start to rehab.

About Kathy Tuan-MacLean
  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/14631784702731513623 athanasius

    A classic "the cobbler's children go without shoes" kind of post. Thanks Kathy! A good reminder that we all need to remember to invest our best gifts with our families. Sounds like it was good fun, too!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/17971343387331080770 Jenny

    Kathy, I love hearing about your family life. It is all so familiar. I think you are an awesome writer!


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