Wednesday, August 08, 2012

A Vacation From Parenting

Those of us who are parents all live it -- parenting is a 24-hour-a-day job. The pay is next-to-nothing, the demands are outrageously high. And there is no such thing as a vacation.

Unless you ship your kids off to grandma and grandpa's for a week, that is.

And when you do, oh heavens! The ideas of things you want to do while you aren't tied down!

At first, visions of all the projects I would complete danced through my head. Things like organizing a closet, purging old clothes, painting a bedroom.

Those things never get done when kids are around because really, who would turn down a 6-year-old who wants to go biking and instead choose to clean the dust out of a bathroom vent? I know I don't make those choices, because some day that 6-year-old will be asking for the car keys and driving to her friend's house and I'll have all the time in the world to tackle that clogged vent. (Which, by the time she's 16, will really need attention.)

Our children have been at my parents' house since Sunday, when we met them midway between our house and theirs, and transferred kids, suitcases, bikes and toys to their car. Wayne and I drove home and had an actual conversation, while music we chose played in the car.

We arrived home and had whatever we wanted. Which, for me, meant sitting in the backyard with a Kindle and a glass of wine, to read a book uninterrupted. Uninterrupted, I tell you, what a miraculous thing!

Our plans for this week include:
  1. Having both of us leave the house early in the morning to go skating or running, without needing to coordinate so that one person is home in case a child awakens early.
  2. Going out to dinner without having to pay a babysitter and without having to watch the time to make sure we're home by the time we told her we would be. 
  3. Eating dinner whenever we feel like it.
  4. Going to an industry networking event without having the other parent be on parent-duty.
  5. Using the effenheimer to add emphasis to a sentence without having to first check for the presence of children.
There is a little homesickness going on in Wisconsin, and hopefully keeping in touch via Facetime throughout the week helps.

From our standpoint, we are realizing that we don't do this often enough, and we are enjoying a much-needed break from parenting.

Thanks, Mom and Mark.

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