The Westport family’s 3-day plans fell through — the northern New England college they called for an interview for their rising senior was fully booked long ago.
Suddenly, the Westporters had time all to themselves. So on a Tuesday night they sat down and talked about the many local things they always talk about doing, but never have time for. It was a very long list.
They added ground rules: no Facebook, Blackberries or email. (They followed them well. Not perfectly, but they tried.)
“What fun we had!” the mother reported. Their high school students found the Maritime Aquarium — particularly the penguins — as much fun as when they were kids.
They mini-golfed in Ridgefield, picnicked at Waterford Beach near New London, rode bikes, took walks, saw movies, ate out and had leisurely breakfasts. Even an errand to a camera store felt special, because they did it together.
On Saturday morning the list was nowhere near done. One kid went back to a summer job. E-mail needed checking; laundry beckoned. Daily life began anew.
But, the mother says, “the satisfaction of being home and stepping out of the routine was magical. I always think of us as a family that spends time together, but something about this endeavor felt so freeing. Three days together under the radar — when can I mess up the schedule again so we can do another stay-cation?”
There are limits to her joy, of course. When I asked if I could use her name, the mother answered quickly.
“Definitely not,” she said. “My kids would be mortified.”