I-survived-family-day-2013First off, let’s start with the obvious.  Family Day was day four of an extra long weekend.  Day four.

Next, a confession.  I always forget Family Day.  Every year since it started, this ‘bonus day’ has snuck up and startled me like someone playing a prank!  Whose idea was it to establish a statutory holiday in the middle of February anyway?  Haven’t we just survived the Christmas stretch?  Isn’t March Break scheduled soon?

Seriously.  With last Friday’s  PD day (which I learned of Thursday), this past Family Day weekend could easily have been categorized as a proper school break.   (ie: The kind of school break smart parents plan for in advance!)

Not me.  I forgot.  Yet again.  And, this total lack of foresight meant I was flying blind for the entire weekend. No family escapes to far away places.  No pre-planned casual gatherings with other families.  No programmed festivities of any kind.   Not even a full fridge.

To sum up?  Me and the ‘team of three’ were forced to somehow make the best of all this extra together time. Did I mention my kid is now officially pre-teen?   Goody.

We started out well.  Said pre-teen was generously treated to lunch and an IMAX movie by Grandma.  The two of them spent Friday afternoon bonding, while the fella and I frantically tried to finish off our week’s work. Grandma/girl excursions are good, right ?  Besides, according to me,  scientific educational movies don’t count as screen time.

Fast forward past a hastily arranged Friday night sleepover and  banana pancakes with bacon for brunch.  It’s Saturday afternoon, and sure enough, we three find ourselves outside. Isn’t that exactly where we “should” be?  Yup. Freezing our fingers off in the ridiculously long lines at Jacques Cartier Park.  Oooo, Winterlude! But, all was not lost.  We slid twice and slipped into the ‘refuge’ tent to sip on $3 hot chocolates.   For supper, we mustered macaroni and cheese.

Sunday, the fella and I stepped it up.  We got serious about spending quality time, and dared ourselves to go downhill skiing.   So, the three of us donned our snow pants and set off for the slopes.  The sunshine was brilliant, albeit somewhat deceiving, as the thermometer suggested we’d be in for another day of freezing. Cold we were indeed, but happy too, since we hadn’t forgotten how to ski. Ahhh.  Success!  The little girlaboutOtown had a grand time, and so did we.   Bonus?  She went to be early, leaving us open for a marathon session of series TV.

Onto yesterday, otherwise known as Family Day (by government decree).  An officially designated period for hilarious fun and lasting memories…

Maybe for those other families.   By day four,  no surprise, we were hard pressed to come up with anything more.  The team was grumpy, the fridge was bare, and I was in desperate need of some time just for me.  Not exactly a recipe for  familial harmony.  The clutter grated, the screen games irritated, and yes, the pre-teen attitude grew.  Inevitably, silly squabbles ensued.

It’s true.  On this very important holiday, we tussled (as real families have been known to do).

Like all scuffles, ours subsided, and we managed to coax ourselves back to civil.  Besides, the little girlaboutOtown had plans of her own.  A late day baking binge/neighbourhood sale to save the polar bear had been her priority all along.  She wasn’t the slightest bit concerned about the lack of quality family time!

Late last night, as I perused my Facebook stream looking at family after family ‘living the dream”, I fought off the guilt.  Had I failed Family Day?

Today, I’m not so sure.  At sun up, we were all smiling.   While it was far from perfect, this family actually made it all the way through four days!  For real.

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