For the first five years of motherhood I lived nearly 5000 miles away from my family. It’s my fault – I chose to up-sticks and move away. When we were just a couple I was fine with a visit from my parents once a year, a yearly trip home for us and weekly phone calls, but somehow, having babies made me feel closer to my family despite the vast distance between us. I realised just how much a rookie mom needs her mom.
As Pickle grew and Bowser arrived seeing my family only once or twice a year and the limited time my parents had with their grandchildren fanned the flames of my smoldering feelings of homesickness. Surviving the nine hour flight and the accompanying jet lag also made traveling home less appealing. So, when Pickle was five and Bowser 18 months we packed up and went home. Now we are a much more sensible 60 miles apart and can see them, if not whenever we want, at least six or so times a year.
So that’s how we’ll be spending our upcoming school break – with Nanny and Grandad. We won’t do anything terribly exciting; it’s very relaxed. We will visit with some extended family, catching up with Aunties and Cousins. I usually get to have some precious ‘me time’ and have a couple of nights out with old friends. We’ll have our annual trip to the theme park, adventure playground and, if weather permits, a day at the beach. Pickle in particular is just as excited about seeing Nanny and Grandad as she is about what we will do when we’re there. For her it’s all about being together. It’s like she’s making up for lost time.
Pickle would like it if we were part of an African or Indian culture where the extended family all live together under one roof, but we adults know that we also need our own space. We always try to explain to her that if we spent all of our time together then we wouldn’t be able to look forward to visits. However, when we leave there are always tears that last for at least the first 15 minutes of the journey.
Nanny always has a little welcome gift for them: usually a sticker book and a craft kit for Pickle; a couple of Hot Wheels or some Angry Birds paraphernalia for Bowser. And there’s always a pack of Kinder eggs each. No matter how many of these babies we’ve had in our house over the last few years (and being a part of the #KinderMom program this is quite a few!) the kids are always excited to open another one and shortly after munching on the delicious chocolate the toy bartering begins.
Wishing you all a happy holiday – be it a staycation or an awaycation I’m sure it will be fun, fun, fun!