The Fresno Bee (Sunday) - - Life - Con­tact Amy via email: ask [email protected]­dick­in­

Dear Amy: Each year, my ex­tended fam­ily takes a big trip with four gen­er­a­tions – The Grand­par­ents, The Par­ents, The Kids and The Grand­kids.

There are 15 of us, in­clud­ing spouses, in The Kids group. The Par­ents and The Grand­par­ents make all the ar­range­ments. We’re sim­ply told where and when.

The Par­ents find a large house to rent. The Grand­par­ents, who are quite wealthy, gen­er­ously pay for the rental. The Grand­par­ents and The Par­ents’ gen­er­a­tions each get their own room, and The Kids make due with what­ever space is left over.

On the last trip, we ar­rived to find camp­ing mats and sleep­ing bags on the floor for all of us. We’ve slept three to a bed, on couches, floors and ham­mocks. We al­ways go home from these “va­ca­tions” tired and stressed.

The Kids are all be­tween 28 and 37, and are al­most all mar­ried.

My wife and I have sug­gested get­ting a sec­ond house, split­ting the cost be­tween The Kids, but The Par­ents in­sin­u­ated we were un­grate­ful and don’t “pri­or­i­tize fam­ily.”

The other Kids all agree with us, pri­vately, but won’t bring it up.

Is there a bet­ter way to ex­press our dis­com­fort? We don’t want to seem un­grate­ful or dis­re­spect­ful.

One of The Kids

Dear Kids: Next year, you should book (and pay for) a nearby rental for you and your wife. The Par­ents and The Grand­par­ents are at­tach­ing way more value on the fam­ily all sleep­ing in one house than you do. But they wake up each morn­ing hav­ing slept in a bed!

After you book your rental, no­tify The Par­ents and Grand­par­ents: “We’re rent­ing a place, only 10 min­utes away. We’re re­ally ex­cited for our an­nual re­u­nion, and can’t wait to see every­body!”

As­sum­ing re­spon­si­bil­ity for where you’ll sleep is not be­ing dis­re­spect­ful or un­grate­ful. You’re be­hav­ing like an adult and show­ing up for your fam­ily. Con­vey this idea: “We love this tra­di­tion so much and look for­ward to it all year. We’re go­ing to hang out at the big house with ev­ery­one, but we need some pri­vacy at night.” Don’t in­volve the other Kids in this, and don’t gos­sip about it.

The Par­ents and Grand­par­ents don’t have to like your choice. If you feel rested and more re­laxed, you will be more avail­able to give at­ten­tion and af­fec­tion to your el­ders, which you should do.

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