It’s important for me to take a vacation from my ADHD child and spend some time reconnecting with the adults in my life.
by Kay Marner
Let me share a sentiment I just read in the bathroom (too much information!) at Arnold’s Perk, a funky coffee shop in Arnolds Park, Lake Okoboji, Iowa: “If you’re rich you live in Beverly Hills. If you’re famous you live in Malibu. If you’re lucky, you live at Lake Okoboji.”
I feel lucky just to be here on vacation!
To me, Okoboji is synonymous with friendship. This is the 14th straight summer that Don and I have vacationed with friends Mark and Debbie Flannery. The first joint vacation took place here, just the four of us. In subsequent years, the group and location has varied. Sometimes, mutual friends Steve and Joani Gent join us. Sometimes we bring the kids, sometimes it’s adults only.
We’ve traveled to Colorado, Door County, Wisconsin, and each other’s homes. This year is an adults-only year, with both Gents and Flannerys, and we’re back at Lake Okoboji. The guys are golfing, and the women are relaxing at Arnold’s Perk, starting our morning with way too much coffee.
The six of us had a deep conversation late last night — in part alcohol-assisted and in part an inevitable occurrence that happens when Joani Gent and Mark Flannery are in the same place at the same time. I talked about our experience with the Exorcist, and about life with Natalie in general. One of Gent’s children has special needs, too, and we talked about how plans for her future are unfolding. We even talked about how each of our marriages is doing, and about how we deal with conflict within our marriages. The two main themes I came away with are these:
It’s important to spend time with and reconnect with your spouse. And it’s important to spend time with and reconnect with your friends.
The next time I feel guilty about taking time away Natalie and the endless demands of her ADHD, or from both kids, to spend time with Don or with friends, I hope to recall this picture in my mind: the six of us sitting on the deck of our rented condo, looking out over the peaceful dark lake. I’ll hear the voices of my friends reassuring me that taking a break is the right thing to do: for my kids, for myself, and for my marriage.
If I was rich, I’d live in Beverly Hills. If I was famous, I’d live in Malibu. I’m lucky. I vacation at Okoboji with good friends.