Almost 2 weeks ago, kids packed their luggage for their annual summer vacation in Turkey. We went to the airport, checked them in, and handed them over to my brother and sister-in-law before the security check point. There went the kiddos, with their cousins to get on their 11 hour flight to Istanbul, without us.
This year, I and my husband couldn’t arrange to take long vacation to travel due to our jobs. Kids on the other hand, were looking forward to spending time in Turkey with their grandparents, spending time in summer houses, making new friends. Luckily, my brother and sister-in-law were traveling, so we asked them if our kids could tag along, with the 2 little ones they already had on hand. Graciously and courageously, they’ve accepted. Planning began. They left with their uncle and aunt and we are going for a week to pick them up and bring them back. At least, we didn’t have to worry about putting them on a plan on their own.
Still, a month away from the kids, was a concept that was really hard to wrap my head around. Even though I traveled a lot for work, my husband was with the kids when I was away. I wrote a “Kids User’s Manual” for grandparents. We went over stranger safety rules with the kiddos. While I was worrying about this and that, kids were dreaming about what they would do, and where they would visit (and most probably how they would coerce grandparents to buy the stuff they wanted )
Despite my worries, one thing helped me keep my sanity. My memory of the summers I’ve spent with my grandparents. I’ve enjoyed 3 long months of summer vacation with my grandparents since as early as I can remember until I started college. We stayed at summer house complexes which were gated communities, where every family knew each other. There was almost unlimited freedom within the borders of the community, because at any time few parents could keep an eye on us, so every single parent didn’t have to hover over their kids if they had other stuff to do. As a kid, I don’t remember being sad about missing my parents, because I was having the time of my life. As a parent, it makes me feel guilty to realize I didn’t miss my parents. It also makes me happy, to know, if my kids enjoy their summer vacation as much as I enjoyed mine, they will not feel sad either.
2 weeks into their time away, they are being spoiled by grandparents and I bet they are feeling a bit independent as well.
2 weeks into our time away from them, we are a little bit lightheaded, not knowing exactly what we should do and we are feeling a little bit independent.
I feel like, we are having a sneak peek preview of high school and college years. Still, I miss them a lot, thinking “we would have done this together, if they were here”, “we would have enjoyed it together, if we were there” every few minutes.
So a tradition begins like that. “Summer vacation with Grandparents (without parents)”